Suspect in Christmas Eve Murder Receives Life in Prison

By Dick Mangrum

John Asher Farrell Villarreal will spend the rest of his life in prison to atone for murder and attempted murder. The office of 10th Solicitor David Wagner today announced the sentencing on Wednesday of Villarreal for the Christmas Eve 2014 shooting death of Mary Fowler. She was a passenger in a car that stopped and picked up Villarreal in Greenville and that eventually drove him on I-85 toward the Georgia state line. The car made a stop on the way and that’s when, according to Wagner’s announcement, that Villarreal shot Fowler in the back of the head and shot driver James Dobson several times. Dobson would survive, but he is left with one eye and bullet fragments in his brain. Before Judge Scott Sprouse, Villarreal pleaded guilty to all charges which included carjacking and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. Wagner said, “There is no place for someone like John Villarreal in our society. His actions were heinous and cold, and show his complete lack of respect for human life….He was planning to take more lives but he was apprehended thanks to the hard work of the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office….”