CLEMENCY HEARING OF JULY 12, 2002
Wynndale Woodall, 46, friend and neighbor, made the following statement:
To the Parole Board of the State of Georgia.
Buck Fugate is a good neighbor and damn fine human being. One who didnít sell drugs or steal in our neighborhoods or anywhere else, he didnít cause turmoil or violate oneís civil rights or didnít act racist. Buck didnít involve himself in the complexities of a family squabble unless it was to take a load off of them by supplying a helping hand in building or gardening. Buck you could say had a green thumb and was concerned about people old and young alike.
Iím Wynndale Elon Woodall, I was born in Thomaston Georgia, raised in Bibb County witnessed my first murder, my uncle by his stepson, at the age of 12 in Twiggs County. I had trouble in school after that and at 16 I joined the U.S.M.C. and became a radio-operator, later a disabled Vietnam-era Veteran, and was discharged.
At 22 my 19-year-old brother was murdered outside a club I worked at, and I eventually moved from a stressful city to the more peaceful surroundings and decided to raise my family in Twiggs County. In 1989 I became a Certified Volunteer Fire and Rescue person there with my wife and our children. I headed a team that has helped the Sheriff's Offices and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation search for bodies and vehicles in the counties rivers, lakes and quarries all over Georgia as a certified S.C.U.B.A. Instructor. My doctors said my continuation of scuba diving was good for the recovery of the knee I injured at the base in 1985.
I first met Buck, his wife and son, on some of the most challenging Georgia clay rural roads ever constructed, those without gravel or asphalt or proper drain-off. Rain often destroying the three and a half-mile street we had as a driveway to a main road.
Moving to this area was like living in the farthest regions of a jungle terrain where neighbors had no one to depend on but themselves. To go to work, to shop, to go to schools, to get medical help was often impossible and nine time out of ten Mr. Buck Fugate was there. He also pulled fellow neighbors, rescue and fire vehicles out of county maintained ditches often making him late for work. He didnít have to do this and there were others in the neighborhood with four-wheel drives who would noticeably looked the other way. Buck often even helped them with a tractor when they became so stuck even they couldnít get out.
After becoming disabled at Warner Robins AFB and having surgery, five in all, Iíd see Buck and his wife often in the neighborhood. He would help my mentally and physically disabled father in the garden when I couldnít. Being bored and in trying to get well, I decided to build an extra room onto my trailer. Buck Fugate got word of it (probably from my family) and decided to come-by and see if he could give me a hand to help ease my load.
Seeing me trying to mix concrete in a wooden mixing platform Buck volunteered to loan me an expensive hand-made concrete mixer to mix the concrete to do the job. This took a lot of slow tedious work off of me. That was the type of person Buck Fugate was - a helper in his community.
Buck Fugate should be spared. Taking his life has no justifiable means and I also feel Buck Fugate can be rehabilitated in time and can be a productive member to society. How do I know this?
Well . . .
October 19, 1978 - Lyndon Aubon Jay Woodall, my brother, was premeditatedly murdered. I was there at the scene. His murderer was Nelson Reynolds Crenshaw.
Jay was my little brother and I was taught that above all else, as an older brother of three - I was their protector, their guide and they came before my desires, my wants, even my needs at times.
Nelson Crenshaw had been an armed robber of drugstores, had assaulted many people, and was on parole when he murdered my brother.
I was told by the justice system to let them handle it. Other police officers said if it were their brothers that they would take drastic measures of retaliation. For years I followed him in the system, hated this man and that hate ate at some of the very best parts of me to the point that I often didnít know who I was. One day I made a choice and decided that my brother wouldnít want me to turn into what this person had become. I came face to face with him, forgave him as my mother had. A great weight lifted and I let go, finding my inner peace, asking him not to let my brother die in vain. Reynolds is a productive member in society now. I see him often. There are those who still question my forgiveness. To those I have but one thing to say: The answer lies inside themselves with their Creator.
I plea for Buck Fugateís life because heís a good person, capable of becoming something greater than most due to his love for the old and disabled, like my father, in that field, whose mind was bad and for those others he helped without asking for pay. A man like Buck Fugate is irreplaceable and only found in certain places. Donít judge Buck for that instance of what can only be insanity. I believe with therapy and counseling Buck can rehabilitate, like the man who took my brotherís life. Why do I ask this? I personally believe in it, and itís something my brother wouldíve asked for. Thatís what kind of person Jay Woodall was, he as I, was a forgiver. We see things other people fail to notice . . . their souls.
And if I didnít believe Buck Fugate could be changed I wouldnít be here before you wasting your time or my time.
The people of the United States had asked me to let the law handle my brothers murder. Ones that later asked me to forgive him and to forget too, when they turned him loose. Iím asking for reciprocity from you here for Buck.
Murdering Buck Fugate will not accomplish anything. The Buck Fugate that I know is not a cold and callused murderer, thief or robber, he is a loving human being, one many will miss.
Petitionerís Exhibit No. 46
AFFIDAVIT OF WYNNDALE WOODALL
COUNTY OF TWIGGS
STATE OF GEORGIA
I, Wynndale Woodall, hereby depose, swear, and state:
I live at Box 694, General twigs Drive, Macon, GA.
1. I am medically retired from the military at Warner Robins Air Force Base since 1985. I was married for seventeen years, and am now divorced.
2. I knew Wallace Fugate for five or six years from 1984 to 1990, when he was arrested. I got to know Wallace Fugate when I began to see him in passing when he was at his fatherís house on my street. Mr. Fugate, Sr., was my next door neighbor. For five or six years, I saw Wallace Fugate two or three times a week.
3. Wallace Fugate was the type of person who would give you the shirt off his back. He used to always come by to say hello and to see how I was doing. He would always come over and greet me. When I was going through a bad time, Mr. Fugate was concerned about me. He used to come over to see if I was o.k. sometimes. Mr. Fugate asked me if I needed anything or needed any help. He said that if I did need him, he would be there for me. Mr. Fugate was also worried that I didnít have enough to live on.
4. Mr. Fugate was the type of person who would always help you out if he could. He would do anything for you. I built a shop in the back of my house once. I was trying to mix concrete for the building by hand. Mr. Fugate saw that I was mixing the concrete by hand, and came over to offer help. He lent me the machinery to do the job. I didnít give Mr. Fugate any money for the equipment. He was just being neighborly. Once when I was building a well, Mr. Fugate showed me how to do the electrical work on ot, so I wouldnít get hurt.
5. Mr. Fugate looked out for me even when he wasnít at home. I broke down once on my motorcycle. I tried to get help from my parents but they werenít home. Mr. Fugate saw me on the road and came to pick me up. We loaded the motorcycle onto his truck, and Mr. Fugate took me home, where we unloaded the bike.
6. Mr. Fugate cared a lot about his family. I used to see Mr. Fugate and his wife Patti together sometimes at Mr. Fugateís fatherís house. Mr. Fugate and Patti Fugate were very affectionate and playful with each other. I thought that they were in love. I used to see Mr. Fugate in his fatherís yard with his father and his son Mark, working on all kinds of projects. Mr. Fugate loved his father and he tried to take care of him.
7. Mr. Fugate was a different person after he separated from his wife. He shut himself off from everyone and he didnít want to talk anymore. All of a sudden, Mr. Fugate acted like he didnít know anyone. He was extremely depressed. For the last two or three weeks before Mrs. Fugate was killed, Mr. Fugate was especially out of it. He wouldnít speak to anyone. I worried that Mr. Fugate might hurt himself.
8. I do not believe that the death penalty is the appropriate punishment for Wallace Fugate. Mr. Fugate cared about the people in his life, and he made an effort to do good things with most of his life. I was extremely shocked to hear that Mr. Fugate had hurt anyone, particularly in his family.
9. No one ever contacted me about what I know about Wallace before his trial. If Mr. Fugateís lawyer had asked me, I would have been willing to testify about what I know of Wallace Fugate.
Under the pain and penalty of perjury, I hereby swear that the foregoing is true and correct.
Wynndale Woodall Telephone number: 912/742-6798
Subscribed and sworn to before me by
Wynndale Woodall this 20th day of December, 1995
~ Click On His Photo To Return To Wallace's Home Page ~