August jury trial set for homeless man charged with murder

Joe Nathan Duncan

A jury trial date for a homeless man charged in the death of a 91-year-old Dothan woman has been tentatively reset for August.

Joe Nathan Duncan faces a capital murder-burglary and capital murder-robbery charges in the March 17, 2018, death of Mable Fowler. The new trial date is Aug. 31.

In September 2018, Duncan pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect before Circuit Judge Larry Anderson.

The grand jury found reasonable evidence in July 2018 that Duncan intentionally caused the death of Fowler by striking her with various objects while committing theft.

When Fowler was killed, Duncan was on probation for a previous unlawful possession/receiving a controlled substance charge.

Police believe the motive for the killing was robbery and burglary.

Dothan police Chief Steve Parrish said in a previous interview that Fowler had hired Duncan three weeks before her death to do yard work for her, and that Fowler was killed the morning of March 17.

According to testimony at Duncan’s preliminary hearing by Investigator Curtis Stephens, a brutal crime scene was found when police responded to Fowler’s residence on Hodgesville Road, and that Fowler had been badly beaten.

Police arrested Duncan 12 hours after Fowler’s body was found.

Defense attorney Arthur Medley said in an earlier interview that Duncan was arrested before law enforcement had time to review the evidence.

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