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Childersburg woman serving 30-year sentence for murder has parole hearing next week

Sophia Loren Fowler,

Sophia Loren Fowler,

A Childersburg woman who pleaded guilty to murder and robbery in 1997 is up for parole next week, according to the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles.

Sophia Loren Fowler, now 49, was sentenced to concurrent 30-year prison terms for murder and robbery in the first degree. According to the ABPP, she has served 23 years and two months of that sentence.

Fowler pleaded guilty to stabbing Stanley Lemon, then 31, to death with a knife on Dec. 6, 1995.

Court documents indicate Fowler and Lemon were involved in a relationship of some sort, but they did not have the same address. Lemon was stabbed to death at Fowler’s home, however.

According to an obituary published by The Daily Home at the time, Lemon was survived by his parents, two daughters and three sisters. He worked at the American Chip Company in Childersburg.

The robbery stemmed from a separate incident a few months later, on April 20, 1996.

In that incident, Fowler and another woman robbed a 69-year-old man at knifepoint in Odena while on a crack cocaine binge, according to reports published at the time. 

Fowler was arrested on the robbery charge first and was still in jail when she was served with the murder warrant in May 1996. She was convicted of the robbery charge in November 1996, while a grand jury was still considering the murder charge. She was indicted on the murder charge in December 1996.

Following her arraignment in January 1997, Fowler’s attorneys asked the court for $600 to have a psychiatric evaluation performed at Cheaha Mental Health. According to the motion, the evaluation was necessary because “admissible testimony will be offered at trial regarding an abusive domestic relationship between” Fowler and Lemon, and “this relationship … preceded the death of (Lemon) by a number of weeks.”

At a hearing Feb. 3, 1997, the motion for a psychiatric evaluation was withdrawn, however, and Fowler pleaded guilty to the murder charge a week later. She was sentenced to 30 years in prison by former Circuit Judge Jerry Fielding.

According to the Alabama Department of Corrections, Fowler is housed at the Birmingham Community Work Center. She was last denied parole in September 2019.