ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) – Joel Moyers, 52, remains behind bars in the Limestone County jail charged with capital murder. No bond has been set for him. Limestone County Circuit Court Judge James Woodruff said Friday he will not issue a ruling on Moyers’ bond request before the week of March 4th.
Tuesday afternoon, Judge Woodruff presided over a 3-hour bond hearing for Moyers. It was unusual in that typically capital murder suspects are not granted bond and must await trial in custody. However, Limestone County District Attorney Brian Jones announced to the court his office would not seek the death penalty for Moyers, clearing the way for defense attorneys to petition the court to grand bond.
Moyers was originally charged with reckless murder and shooting into an occupied vehicle following the September 29, 2012, killing of 26-year old Brandon Hydrick. Bond on those charges was set at $260,000. Moyers was out of jail on bond when Jones reconvened a grand jury to review ballistics evidence just obtained from the Alabama Department of Forensic Science. That evidence included video of a rifle confiscated from Moyers being test fired three times. Each of the three shots hit the target aimed at by ADFS investigators. Jones indicated that evidence proves Moyers did not fire a warning shot into the air the night Hydrick was killed as he claimed to sheriff’s deputies at the time of his arrest.
Moyers, according to Sheriff Mike Blakely, admitted firing the gun one time that night. The bullet, according to testimony Tuesday, struck the tailgate on Hydrick’s small pick-up truck and continued through the cab of the truck, striking Hydrick in the back and killing him.
The Grand Jury voted to upgrade the charges against Moyers to capital murder, thus automatically revoking his bond. A relative of Moyers tells WHNT News 19 that before the indictment could be served, a friend called Moyers to inform him word of the indictment was already on the internet. Moyers, according to Blakely, then went to the bathroom in his mother’s Cullman home, where he was staying at the time, and took an overdose of pills. The relative said shortly thereafter his mother was driving Moyers to Athens to turn himself in when he passed out in the car. His mother then drove him to the Cullman Regional Medical Center Hospital where he remained under guard for a week before being released to be transported to the Limestone County Jail.