Today marks the ten-year anniversary of Harlan Drake’s conviction for first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of abortion protester Jim Pouillon and businessman Mike Fuoss. The murders took place in Owosso, Michigan on September 11, 2009. A jury convicted Drake six months later on March 11, 2010.
|Harlan Drake’s mugshot|
Drake testified that he murdered Pouillon for displaying a sign which reportedly “featured a picture of an aborted fetus on one side.” Drake “said he pulled up beside Pouillon, shot him and then, because Pouillon was still moving, shot him again before driving away.” Pouillon, who was 63 years old and used an oxygen tank, didn’t stand a chance. The murder was premeditated; Drake confessed “he told his family the day before the killings that he would ‘take care of’ Pouillon after his mother expressed her disgust with Pouillon’s protests.” Authorities believe that Pouillon’s pro-life activity was Drake’s sole motive for the murder, as Drake and Pouillon did not know each other personally.
The Flint Journal described the immediate aftermath of the murder:
A black car can be seen parked at the corner of North and Whitehaven streets, where a portable oxygen tank is lying in a front yard next to a large sign bearing the image of a baby and the word “Life.”
After killing Pouillon, Drake drove to the Fuoss Gravel Company and murdered its owner, Mike Fuoss. The motive for this second murder was apparently unrelated to abortion. Fuoss and Drake’s mother were former business partners whose relationship had soured years earlier. Horrifically, Drake shot Fuoss seventeen times.
Drake is currently serving a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.