1:20 PM. Preliminary Hearing Joe Nathan Duncan. CAPITAL MURDERRickey Stokes
Posted by: RStokes
Date: Apr 06 2018 2:24 PM
DOTHAN: 1:20 PM. Under tight security handled personally by Houston County Sheriff Donald Valenza, two Capital Murder Preliminary Hearings.
One was Joe Nathan Duncan charged with the murder of 91 year old Mable Fowler on Hodgesville Road In March.
Duncan is court appointed represented by Arthur Medley and Jennifer Wilson.
The Assistant District Attorney is Mark Johnson and Russ Goodman.
The preliminary hearing was held before Houston County District Court Judge Benjamin Lewis.
First witness Dothan Police Investigator Curtis Stephens. A ten year member of Dothan Police Department assigned to the Violent Crimes Unit.
A caretaker found the victim and called Dothan Police about 7:30 to 7:45 PM. The care giver went to check on Ms. Fowler when she could not be contacted. As the caregiver approached the house she observed blood in the sunroom and kitchen drawers pulled out.
Ms. Fowler was found on the floor in the kitchen. Ms. Fowler had multiple blunt force trauma injuries to include those from a broken ceramic lamp. Marks all over the body to include of what appeared to be the cane and/or a foot.
Ms. Fowler was described as a frail 91 year old lady, mental state was good. She had a routine of watching the news. Was very alert.
Investigator Stephens asked about people known to come over. Investigators found video from the mini storage buildings. A black male was seen going across the street to Ms. Fowler’s residence and stayed 17 minutes.
After pictures of the video was shown to other law enforcement officers to include Houston County Sheriff Deputies, a Deputy identified the person as Joe Nathan Duncan. The Deputy had checked the subject the night before on South Foster Street.
Officers found Duncan behind Chill Lounge where he panhandled. Duncan was taken into custody and questioned.
Investigator Stephens said Duncan detailed where he went on Saturday. Duncan admitted that he was the one in the still picture taken from the video. Duncan said he only went to Ms. Fowler’s on Wednesday. Duncan said he went on Wednesday’s because that was the only day Ms. Fowler allowed because that was the day the care taker was there.
Repeated Duncan denied going to Ms. Fowler’s on Saturday. After being confronted there was video Duncan finally admitted going there for one minute to see if Ms. Fowler had any work.
Finally Duncan was confronted he was there for 17 minutes. Investigator Stephens testified Duncan walked slowly to the residence but swiftly when he left. Duncan has a book bag when he left he was trying to conceal.
When Duncan was taken into custody his clothes was different. Investigator Stephens asked Duncan did he wash his clothes. Duncan said he might wash in the creek but had not. Duncan did say he took a shower at Love In Action. That was confirmed by Ken Tuck.
Investigator Stephens said normally Duncan was the last one to arrive and take a shower last. On this Saturday Duncan was at the door at 10 when they opened. His clothes were wet and the shoes he had been given earlier in the week were wet.
Duncan was asked where his clothes were. Duncan said they were in an abandoned building in the 100 block of South Oates at the hump. Dothan Police searched there and nothing was found.
Dothan Investigators found Duncan’s clothes at Love In Action. Normally they leave clothes and exchanged for the next week. The clothes had already been washed and spun out. The clothes are sent to Forensic Science’s for analazation.
Duncan never admitted to the murder. Duncan said he gets $ 750 a month SSI. Duncan said that is normally gone in two weeks on crack cocaine.
Duncan did odd jobs for Ms. Fowler. The caretaker said she had only paid Duncan once And Ms. Fowler always paid him. Duncan said that the caretaker always paid him and Ms. Fowler never paid him.
The week before statements taken Duncan had spent money on crack cocaine and gave females money.
Investigator Stephens said the victim’s ear was taken off, fingers broken, jaw broken, fingers twisted broken, femur broken. It was brutal.
The cane was a metal cane. Marks from the cane were significant on Ms. Fowler and the floor.
Pieces of the lamp were found everywhere to include in gashes on Ms. Fowler.
A large amount of blood. Defensive gashes on Ms. Fowler’s wrist. Appeared she had attempted to defend herself as much a 91 year old lady could.
Things in the house had been gone through.
The time on the camera was off about 7 minutes. This occurred around 8:55 AM. During this time the caretaker had called Ms. Fowler. That is believed to have scared Duncan off.
Some cigarette butts and Cigarello butts. Ms. Fowler had complained they had shown up.
Duncan worked several times for Ms. Fowler and then disappeared. Duncan said he had been on vacation but the investigation revealed he had been in jail.
Based on evidence and untruthfulness Duncan was arrested for Capital Murder.
Video evidence from the State ABC, Mini Storage Buildings show Duncan all around Winn Dixie.
Love In Action said Duncan was weird that day. He is normally late because he can stay in the shower longer. Duncan always eats but this particular day he did not.
The video shows Ms. Fowler walked outside with her cane at 7:45 AM and got the newspaper. Dothan Police obtained the video for the entire day and no one ever came over to Ms. Fowler’s until the caretaker came over.
The video does not show the door under the carport or behind the residence.
Initial contact was made with Duncan at 5 AM on Sunday. Ms. Fowler was found by the caretaker at about 7:30 to 7:45 PM on Saturday night. The video shows the caretaker went under the carport for minutes when she is seen coming back to the driveway making the call to Dothan Police.
On Sunday morning the questioning of Duncan was about two hours. Defense asked was any drug tests performed. Investigator Stephens said that Duncan answered various questions correctly so no drug tests were conducted.
At the time of Duncan being taken into custody he had no money on him. The backpack has never been found. Only Ms. Fowler could testify to what was actually taken.
Defense Attorney Medley asked if any video showed Duncan actually went inside the residence. Investigator Stephens said the video does not show Duncan going “inside” the residence. After lying several times of not going, Duncan then said going for only two minutes, when the video showed Duncan was there for 17 minutes, Investigator Stephens said he Arrested Duncan.
Investigator Stephens said Ms. Fowler had many injuries which could have caused her death and he can not testify to the exact cause of death.
The cigarettes and Cigarillos have been taken as evidence and sent to Forensic for examination. Even the clothes were washed nothing was visually seen on the clothes but they are sent to Forensic for examination.
When Duncan left the scene he walked to Love In Action. A witness spoke to Duncan at Love In Action and saw blood on his shirt. She is a white female that was at Love In Action and not an employee.
Defense Attorney Medley asked about the death being violent did the video show Duncan’s clothes shuffled. Investigator Stephens said could not tell from the video.
Fingerprint and other evidence was taken and sent to Alabama Forensic Sciences for examination.
Defense Attorney Medley asked did Duncan have any injuries when located. Investigator Stephens said none. Medley asked this being a violent death should Duncan have injuries. Investigator Stephens said this was a 91 year old victim.
Stephens also testified that Duncan held his coat closed when he arrived at Love In Action.
Samples of all blood collected from the scene. At the time of the interview Duncan was coherent and time line accurate, except for time he spent at Ms. Fowler’s residence.
Houston County District Court Judge bound Joe Nathan Duncan over to the Houston County Grand Jury On Capital Murder charges.
Ended At 2:24 PM