Bobby Duke Jr

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Bobby Alvin Duke Jr (born c. 1955; died July 29, 1974 in Birmingham) was a running back for the Alabama Crimson Tide football team and a victim of murder.

Duke was an All-State halfback at Huffman High School, graduating in 1972. He was recruited to Alabama by Coach Bear Bryant. He did not play during his freshman season, during much of which he was hampered by a shoulder injury.

Duke left his home at 328 Killough Drive to run at his old high school on Monday July 29, 1974. He drove his father's 1973 Monte Carlo, which had a shotgun in it. He was seen leaving the high school after his workout, and the car was seen at the intersection of Tarrant-Pinson Highway and Lawson Road at about 3:40 PM.

Duke was not seen again until his body was found five days later near Lawson Road. He died from a shotgun wound in the midsection. The missing car was found in Selma on August 2, being driven by Hayes Joseph Toosen, who fled on foot after a pursuit. During trial, testimony was given that Toosen and Eugene Bizell Pendleton were hitchhiking in the area with the intent of robbing somebody, and that Toosen surprised Pendleton by shooting Duke.

Pendleton was convicted of 2nd degree murder and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Toosen was convicted of 1st degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. Pendleton was released in 1992. He went on to manage addictions treatment at a private women's prison in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In 2002 he was charged with second-degree rape for engaging in sexual activity with an inmate.

References

  • "Duke's Body Believed Found in Birmingham (August 4, 1974) Florence Times - Tri-Cities Daily
  • "Man given life in Bobby Duke slaying trial. (November 15, 1974) Gadsden Times