Wednesday marked 25th anniversary of trooper killed in Jefferson Co.
February 1, 2017
JEFFERSON CO., Fla. (WCTV) -- Wednesday marks 25 years since an FHP trooper was killed in an explosion in Jefferson County.
Jimmy Fulford died February 1, 1992. He was searching a car on I-10, never imagining a man had booby trapped a microwave oven with a pipe bomb.
Authorities say that man was Paul Howell. He rented a car and paid another man to deliver the box. En route, the man was pulled over by Trooper Fulford for speeding. Howell was later sentenced to death and was executed in February 2014.
Wednesday afternoon, family and friends gathered at the spot Fulford was killed, which is the westbound I-10 exit ramp at mile marker 233.
Some of Trooper Jimmy Fulford's friends visit the spot every February 1st. But, since this is the 25th anniversary of his death, there was an even greater crowd than usual.
An old cassette tape recording of Fulford singing in church was played during the memorial. More than a dozen people gathered around to listen. They also prayed and shared fond memories of Fulford.
The worst memory was the day he was killed.
Retired FHP Trooper BJ Tinney, who was Fulford's lieutenant at the time, said, "I was terribly upset and I thought I was going to have a heart attack when I first arrived here. It was a terrible day. I was on the Florida Highway Patrol for 37 years and three months and it was probably the worst day of my life."
There is a memorial cross placed on the side of the I-10 exit ramp with the trooper's name on it. That's where everyone gathered to remember Fulford.
Friends and colleagues describe Fulford as a hardworking, stand-up trooper who was dedicated to his job and church.
You may notice a sign that marks exit 233 as the Trooper Jimmy Fulford Memorial. Jefferson County Sheriff David Hobbs, who's also a friend of Fulford, was instrumental in getting the sign.