Arthur Bremer living in Western Maryland

Released after serving 35 years for shooting Wallace, he takes apartment in Cumberland

November 15, 2007|By Greg Garland | Greg Garland,Sun reporter

Arthur H. Bremer, who shot and paralyzed former Alabama Gov. George Wallace in 1972, is living in an apartment in Cumberland as he begins the transition to life in the outside world after 35 years behind prison walls, an Allegany County official said yesterday.

"He is in Cumberland. ... It's really not a big deal," said Allegany County Administrator Vance Ishler.

In an effort to avoid media attention, Bremer, 57, was released from a state prison in Hagerstown on Friday before dawn. Prison system officials declined to say where he would be living but had previously said they would try to find a place for him in a rural part of Maryland.

Ishler said prison officials contacted county police to make them aware that Bremer "had chosen to come to Cumberland" to live.

Ishler said he wasn't told whether Bremer has a job or exactly where he is living. He said he did not know if the apartment Bremer was placed in operates as a halfway house.

Bremer was known for following the rules while in prison, and county officials have been given no reason to believe he will create a problem in the community, Ishler said.

Cumberland, about 150 miles north and west of Baltimore, has a population of about 21,000, according to census data.

Bremer shot and wounded Wallace and three others, including a Secret Service agent, in 1972 at a Laurel shopping mall.

The shooting forced Wallace to abandon his bid to become the Democratic Party's presidential nominee. He died in 1998.

Although Bremer was sentenced to 53 years, his good behavior in prison earned him credits toward mandatory early release. He will be supervised by parole and probation agents until his sentence ends June 15, 2025, officials say.

Bremer is required under terms of his release to wear an electronic monitor that will let authorities track his movements. He also must avoid elected officials and candidates running for political office.

Bremer, who is from Wisconsin, has no family in Maryland. His parents died while he was in prison, and siblings who live in other states have been unwilling to take him in.

He has declined numerous interview requests during his years in prison. He did not respond to a written request by The Sun in August for an interview.

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