Appeals court affirms conviction in Huntsville man’s murder of stepfather

Attorney General Steve Marshall announced Wednesday that on Friday the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the murder conviction of Clarence Fearn.

Posted: May 22, 2019 10:32 AM
Updated: May 22, 2019 10:59 AM

Attorney General Steve Marshall issued this press release Wednesday:

Attorney General Steve Marshall announced Wednesday that on Friday the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the murder conviction of Clarence Fearn.

Fearn, 47, of Huntsville was convicted in Madison County Circuit Court in January 2018 for the murder of his stepfather, George Woodward.

The evidence at trial showed that on Sept. 30, 2009, Fearn had a friend drive him to his stepfather’s house. Fearn got out of the car, and the friend drove around for a few minutes until he heard gunshots, then the friend returned and picked Fearn up. Fearn exclaimed, “I got the mother f[----]er.”

Fearn became a suspect almost immediately, but was not charged, and the case went cold for several years.

In January 2014, the lead investigator received a tip and conducted additional investigation that led to Fearn’s arrest in July 2014.

As part of the investigation, the friend who had driven Fearn and who had previously lied and claimed that he knew nothing of Fearn’s whereabouts on the day of the shooting, was interviewed by police again in 2014; in July of 2014, he told police what actually happened.

Madison County District Attorney Robert L. Broussard’s office prosecuted this case and obtained a guilty verdict. Fearn was sentenced to life imprisonment for his conviction.

Fearn sought to have his conviction reversed on appeal.

The Attorney General's Criminal Appeals Division handled the case during the appeals process, arguing for the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals to affirm the conviction. The Court did so in a decision issued Friday, May 17. Attorney General Marshall commended Assistant Attorney General William Dill for his successful work on this case.

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