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Man who shot George Wallace denied parole

February 07, 1997

By DAVID DISHNEAU

The Associated Press

Maryland's Parole Commission on Friday denied parole for Arthur Herman Bremer, who is serving a 53-year prison sentence for shooting former Alabama Gov. George Wallace and three others in 1972.

The eight-member panel ruled that Bremer, 46, won't get another parole hearing.

But he likely will be released at least 10 years before his sentence expires in May 2025 because of good behavior, said Leonard Sipes, a spokesman for the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.

Bremer has five days to appeal the parole decision and has indicated he will, Sipes said.

``He was denied for public safety reasons,'' Sipes said. ``He stalked Gov. Wallace and in his attempt to kill Gov. Wallace he also caused harm to three other victims.''

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Wallace, 77, who forgave Bremer years ago and has said he would not object to his release, said Friday he respected the parole board's decision.

``By the time Bremer is released from prison in the next century, I will be gone from this Earth. In the meantime, I pray the Lord will give him solace as well as strength to become a productive member of society,'' he said in a statement.

Wallace's legs were paralyzed from the wounds he received when Bremer emptied a five-shot handgun in his direction as Wallace campaigned for the Democratic presidential nomination outside a Laurel shopping center on May 15, 1972.

Bremer, a former busboy from Milwaukee, Wis., pleaded insanity at his trial. His diary revealed he had targeted both Wallace and Richard Nixon for assassination.

Wallace has said he doesn't believe Bremer acted alone but authorities never tied anyone else to the shooting.

Wallace, who completed the last of his four terms as governor in January 1987, is in poor health.

He attempted to communicate with Bremer for the first time last year in a short but warm letter in which he said he hoped Bremer would seek God's forgiveness ``so you can go to heaven like I am going to heaven.''

Workers at the Maryland Correctional Institution describe Bremer as a quiet, well-behaved inmate who sometimes talks to himself and inanimate objects. He does clerical work in the prison school when not confined in a single-occupancy cell.

Bremer declined his first parole hearing opportunity in June 1985, Sipes said. Last March, Bremer requested a parole hearing, which was held June 4, Sipes said.

Sipes said Bremer was ``upset but stoic'' when handed the parole board's decision. His lawyer, Benjamin Lipsitz of Baltimore, would not comment.

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