Stepson arrested in 2009 murder case

George Woodard Jr. was murdered in 2009. (Source: WAFF file)
George Woodard Jr. was murdered in 2009. (Source: WAFF file)
Clarence Fearn (Source: Metro Jail)
Clarence Fearn (Source: Metro Jail)

MADISON COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - The Madison County District Attorney confirmed the arrest of a suspect in a 5-year-old murder investigation.

Madison County Sheriff's investigators arrested Clarence Fearn on Tuesday for the murder of George Woodard, Jr.

The suspect is the victim's stepson.

Woodard was shot and killed in the driveway of his home in September 2009. Investigators say his killer shot him four times. Woodard was on the way to work at the Toyota plant when he was killed. He was an assistant manager in machining for seven years before his murder.

Family members said they were thrilled to have a break in the case, although they know they have another hurdle to jump through before justice is finally served.

"I can sleep now," said Woodard's sister, Shelia. "I haven't slept in five years."

Shelia said while she waited for answers, she was consumed by the unknown. She quit work, lived in fear, and had countless, restless nights. During that time, investigators never stopped calling her. She said it gave her strength, and more importantly, hope.

"For me, it's hope for others, especially people who are waiting to have murder cases solved. Let them know not to give up," she said.

Shelia said she'll remember her brother as a kind and generous person, willing to help anyone. She said it is for those reasons she will never understand such a senseless murder - especially at the hands of family.

"I want to know why," she said. "That is the question I want to know, and I guess I will find out in the courtroom."

Fearn does not have a court date at this time. Investigators have not released a motive.

Investigators said they don't consider this a cold case because they were working on it every sing day since the murder.

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