Wednesday, February 26, 2014
TALLAHASSEE – The death of Florida Highway Trooper Jimmy Fulford saved others, giving some comfort to his family as the execution of the man convicted of killing him approaches. Fulford died in February 1992 along Interstate 10 in Jefferson County when a booby-trapped package exploded during a routine traffic stop. The bomb was intended for a Marianna woman who lived in an apartment complex with her baby. Another woman and other children lived in the next unit over and the bomb was powerful enough that it would have blown out windows, doors and walls if it was detonated in an enclosed area, according to court records. “I’m sure there would have been a lot more people killed besides her,” said Tim Fulford, the trooper’s brother. “That is a comfort. He did die saving other people’s lives.” The man who built the bomb that killed Fulford is scheduled to die by injection on Wednesday, Feb 26th, 2014, exactly one year after the original execution date set in a process that has been held up by appeals. The time it’s taken for Paul Howell’s sentence to be carried out has been painful for Fulford’s family, especially having to be reminded of the circumstances as Howell’s lawyers successfully delayed the execution the past 12 months, Fulford’s brother said. “It’s something our family will never get over. This process is too long,” Fulford said. “Closure will never come. The only way that would happen is if my brother walked through the door and we both know that won’t happen.” Fulford is remembered as an excellent officer and strong family man. It was his dream to become a trooper when he was growing up in Madison County. He was first assigned to a troop in Bradenton, where he met his wife, Keith Ann. He eventually was assigned to patrol the area where he grew up and the couple was raising a son and a daughter in Monticello when Fulford died. He was 35. A prosecutor said Fulford’s death likely saved many other lives. It also launched a multistate investigation that unraveled a major crack cocaine ring, resulting in the convictions of 28 people on federal drug charges including Paul Howell.
Feb 24th, 2014…Death-penalty opponents in Tallahassee called on Gov. Rick Scott to halt the execution of Paul Augustus Howell, who is scheduled to die Wednesday for the 1992 murder of state trooper Jimmy Fulford. They also criticized Scott himself for the pace at which Florida has been executing Death Row inmates since he has been office. As of Monday, 14 inmates have been put to death since Scott took office in 2011, the most during the first term of any governor since the death penalty was reinstated in 1979, said Sheila Meehan, chair of Tallahassee Citizens Against the Death Penalty. “At a time when other states are taking another look at the idea of killing its own citizens, Florida has decided to pick up the pace,” she said during a news conference Monday at the Florida Press Center.