Victim’s family reacts to stepson’s arrest

HUNTSVILLE, Ala – A man is behind bars tonight accused of killing his stepfather. Nearly five years after the murder, police arrested Clarence Fearn.
George Woodard was shot in the head in his driveway. Now his family finally has some answers.

“Some of the family did not want us to forget Mr. Woodard, and his death. And we wouldn’t forget. We actually had one family member send Investigator Hose a picture of Mr. Woodard’s gravesite. When you get a picture like that and it’s laying on your desk and you come in everyday and you see it, you can’t forget, you don’t want to forget, and you want to speak for those that cannot speak,” said Sergeant Brian Chaffin of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office.

“It came as a relief, you know? That we have closure,” said Sarah Hammond, one of George Woodard’s sisters. It’s a bittersweet time for the family as they learn deputies arrested his stepson Clarence Fearn for Woodard’s 2009 murder. The family is caught between relief and pain after Clarence Fearn’s arrest — but they say that they will always remember the brother that would give you the shirt off his back.

“I’m sorry that my brother is gone, and I know this would not bring him back, but just knowing that we know that somebody has been arrested or whatever for his death,” said Hammond.

“It’s been rough, because every moment of everyday, I’m wondering will it ever be over and will this case ever be solved,” said Shelia Woodard, another sibling of Woodard’s. Shelia Woodard agrees the closure is pleasant, but says the murder of the father, husband, and deacon has made her more cautious.

“You never know if someone’s going to pass by and shoot you. A lot of anxiety has been associated with the death of my brother,” Woodard said.

“It makes it more difficult knowing it is his stepson,” said Hammond. Shelia Woodard said that news of George’s stepson’s arrest came as no surprise.

“I wanted to be surprised, I wanted it to be someone else. I was hoping it would be someone else, a stranger, but it is what it is,” said Woodard. She says her family will not let this incident tear them apart, and they will remember the brother that always put family first.



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