By Kathleen Gilbert

OWOSSO, Michigan, October 5, 2009 ( – 33-year-old Harlan Drake of Owosso, who has been accused of murdering pro-lifer Jim Pouillon, has been ruled incompetent to stand trial and will be remanded to the State Department of Mental Health for psychological treatment.

Drake was taken into custody on Sept. 11, a few hours after the fatal shooting of Pouillon, 63, and a local gravel pit owner, Mike Fuoss.  Police say Drake admitted that he shot Pouillon because his pro-life witness in front of local schools annoyed him.  In his frequent witness around the small town of Owosso, Pouillon routinely carried a sign with an image of an aborted baby on one side, and a living child and the word “life” on the other.

In an order signed last Wednesday, Sixty-sixth District Court Judge Terrance P. Dignan found Harlan Drake incompetent, but said he believed Drake would likely attain competence with sufficient treatment.

Drake's lawyer said the order was partially based on Drake's attempted suicide two days following his arrest.  On Sept. 13, Drake was treated for a gash to the arm he inflicted on himself, using glass from a television he shattered in his cell.

The lawyer said Drake was now slated to receive treatment at the Center for Forensic Psychiatry for no more than fifteen months.

See related coverage:

Vigil for Slain Michigan Pro-Lifer Draws Hundreds of Mourners 

Pro-Life Leaders Lament the Violent Death of a Friend and Ally – Jim Pouillon 

“Jim the Sign Guy”: Slain Pro-Lifer, Father of Two, Remembered by Friends as Cheerful, Peaceful Activist 

Well-Known Local Pro-Life Activist Gunned Down in Michigan 


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