DA: Fatal shooting was retaliation, not self-defense

Published 10:01 pm Tuesday, November 17, 2009

District Attorney Randall Houston said he is satisfied with the plea agreements two Clanton men entered Monday in connection with a 2006 fatal shooting.

With their pleas, Christopher Iman Ulmer, 33, and Kowosky Tywan Christian, 31, avoided being tried on murder and attempted murder charges.

Ulmer pled guilty to manslaughter, and Christian confessed to hindering prosecution.

Under the agreements, Ulmer faces 15 years in prison when he is sentenced next month. Circuit Judge Ben Fuller sentenced Christian on Monday to three years in prison.

The men were scheduled to stand trial in connection with the 2006 shooting death of Issac Dedarge Bulger of Clanton — a shooting in which Houston said nobody was truly innocent.

According to the district attorney’s office, a group of men, including Bulger, shot at Ulmer and Christian on the morning of Dec. 19, 2006.

Later in the day, shots were fired from the truck occupied by Ulmer and Christian into Bulger’s car, striking him in the head.

“They decided it was their turn to shoot,” Houston said.

Bulger died the next day, and Ulmer and Christian turned themselves over to police.

Authorities don’t know what the two groups were fighting over, Houston said.

The defendants had planned to argue that the shooting was self-defense, but the state disagreed.

“In our view, it was retaliation,” said Houston. “If this had all happened at one time, you might have a justified self-defense case, but this was hours later.”

The district attorney’s office said Ulmer and Christian should have worked with law enforcement after the morning shooting and not ran from police that afternoon.

No evidence suggests anybody from Bulger’s car fired shots the second time, Houston said.

Authorities don’t believe Christian fired any shots, but that he did drive the car from which Ulmer fired.