ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) – Joel Moyers was led into a Limestone County Circuit Court Wednesday morning to face arraignment on a new charge of capital murder. The previous capital murder charge against him was thrown out Tuesday afternoon, leading Circuit Court Judge James Woodroof Jr., to temporarily set bond for Moyers at $100,000.
WHNT News 19 has learned that a bondsman was notified and was to attempt to bond Moyers out of jail, however a new capital murder charge was quickly prepared and served on him in while still in jail.
Moyers’ arraignment Wednesday morning signals the restart of criminal proceedings against him. He remains in jail charged with the September, 2012 shooting death of Brandon Hydrick, who died from a single gunshot wound to the back. Investigators say Hydrick was a passenger in his younger brother’s truck and was confronted by Moyers as the two were leaving a bonfire near Moyer’s home. Sheriff Mike Blakely says Moyers admitted firing a warning shot in the direction of Hydrick’s truck, but the bullet went through the cab of the truck, striking Hydrick in the back, killing him.
Moyers was arrested and charged with murder and released on bond, but the charge was later upgraded to capital murder after a ballistics report from state pathologists showed Moyers’ gun fired straight and true. Moyers was re-arrested and has been in custody since that time.
Moyers’ attorney, Dan Totten, of Athens, filed motions earlier this month challenging the language in the grand jury indictment against Moyers. Tuesday, Judge James Woodroof Jr., ruled in favor of the defense’s motion and dismissed the first count of the four-count indictment. It was the first count that contained the capital murder charge. Bond on the remainder of the indictment was then set at $100,000.
However, before bond could be arranged, a new capital murder charge was served on Moyers while he was still in the Limestone County jail, thus re-starting the proceedings against him.
In Totten’s motion, it was argued the indictment failed to mention Moyers’ intent to kill Hydrick. Originally, Judge Woodroof indicated he would allow prosecutors to amend the indictment to correct the language, but yesterday ruled the document was fatally flawed and dismissed the charge.
During Wednesday’s arraignment, defense attorneys asked Judge Woodroof to grant bond for Moyers claiming he had essentially been held without cause under a flawed indictment, and that prosecutors had previously announced they did not intend to seek the death penalty for Moyers. Woodroof said he would rule on the request later. Meanwhile he did schedule a preliminary hearing on the new capital murder charge for July 9th at 1:30 P.M.
Moyers simply shook his head when asked if he had any comment Wednesday afternoon as he was led from the courtroom. Prosecutors also declined comment.