From Fighting Injustice to Facing Death Row: The Bizarre Case of Pastor Glasgow

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I had arrived at the office of his defense lawyer, Derek Yarbrough, to find a surprise guest: Rickey Stokes, a bail bondsman, news blogger, private investigator, 911 board chairman and assistant coroner.

Mr. Stokes and Mr. Glasgow have a history that is Dothanesque. They have been adversaries — Mr. Glasgow, who is black, once protested when Mr. Stokes, who is white, chained two African-American bail-bond clients to the courthouse doors. Mr. Stokes was convicted of misdemeanor unlawful imprisonment, and complained that Mr. Glasgow had unduly made a racial issue out of it.

But it all turned out to be nothing personal: Mr. Glasgow has now requested Mr. Stokes’s investigative services on his very bizarre case.

Here’s what happened: On Sunday, March 25, Mr. Glasgow was in the Bottom, the poor neighborhood where he does much of his work, with a friend known as Little John. A young man, Jamie Townes, who Mr. Glasgow says was an acquaintance, approached and reported that his car was missing. Mr. Glasgow believed he had seen the car, a Monte Carlo, a few blocks away.

Mr. Townes, a woman named Choyce Bush, Little John and Mr. Glasgow got into the car Mr. Glasgow was driving that day, a borrowed brand-new Toyota Camry, to go look for it.

The Monte Carlo had gone on a wild ride, careening through church grounds, fields and ditches, knocking over a street sign and ramming into a tree in someone’s front yard. Finally, with its hood popped open, blocking the driver’s view, it plowed into the front of the Camry on the driver’s side.

“We didn’t find the car,” Mr. Glasgow said. “The car found us.”

After the collision, Mr. Townes got out of the back seat of the Camry and, the police say, began firing at the driver of the Monte Carlo, who everyone assumed was a man.

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