Stay of Execution Issued for Man Guilty of Fulford MurderFeb 26th, 2013 | By Jacob | Category: Crime, Front Page
It was cold that day when Fulford arrived at work at 3 p.m. at the Madison FHP station. He went on a call to the rest area on Interstate 10 where he helped a woman who had locked the keys in her car. He then spotted a car headed west at 85 miles per hour and stopped the Mitsubishi Gallant in Jefferson County.
Fulford discovered that Lester Watson, the man driving the car, did not have a driver’s license. Fulford arrested Watson on charges of driving without a license and Watson was booked into the Jefferson County Jail. Watson’s passenger, Leroy Williams, asked if he could accompany Watson to the jail.
Fulford discovered that the car had been rented to Paul Howell, of Miami. He had the dispatcher call Howell, who said that he had given Watson permission to drive the car but had not told him to head north with it. During the phone call, Howell never told them that the package contained a bomb that he had intended to send to Marianna to silence a witness who could tie him to a murder.
At the Aucilla exit on Interstate 10, Fulford and Jefferson County deputies Wallace Blount and Robert Harrell searched the car.
Fulford looked through the trunk and saw an empty baby’s bottle and a gift-wrapped package. While waiting for the wrecker to come pick up the car, he searched the Mitsubishi again. He opened the package with his penknife and the bomb exploded, killing Jimmy Fulford.
Fulford’s lieutenant, B.J. Tinney noted that when officers were moving the car away from the blaze so that it would not catch fire, that Fulford’s radio was set to WAFT, a Christian music station in Valdosta, Ga. Officers also noted that Fulford’s watch had stopped at 4:34 p.m.
At Fulford’s funeral, a tape was played of him singing gospel music the First Baptist Church in Monticello, where he served as deacon.
Lester Watson was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to 40 years in prison. Patrick Howell was sentenced to 40 years in prison without possibility of parole for 25 years. Other members of the Jamaican drug posse involved in the murder coverup were sentenced to extensive prison terms. Paul Howell was sentenced to die for Fulford’s death.