LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - A judge ordered capital murder suspect Joel Moyers back to jail on Monday morning, following months of legal back-and-forth by prosecutors and Moyers' defense team. His trial is scheduled for February 23, 2015.
Moyers is charged in the shooting death of Brandon Hydrick in September 2012. He has been out on bond since December 2013 because of appeals that followed after prosecutors said they would not seek the death penalty against Moyers. Moyers' attorneys appealed, saying he should be granted bail, and he was. The Alabama Supreme Court eventually overturned the ruling.
During Monday's brief hearing, Moyers wore an oxygen mask and sat in a wheelchair. He did not speak.
Moyers' attorney, Dan Totten, maintained the case was still up in the air, saying the Alabama Supreme Court overturned the Appeals Court's decision, sending the case back to the Appeals Court.
However, the state argued the Alabama Supreme Court's ruling put the power back in the hands of Judge Charles Woodruff, who has historically wanted Moyers held without bail. Judge Woodruff exercised that power Monday, ordering the suspect back to the Limestone County Jail.
Hydrick's family was present. His father tearfully told reporters no family should ever have to go through an ordeal like this.
A conviction of capital murder in Alabama carries only two possible sentences: death or life in prison without the possibility of parole. Normally, capital murder suspects in Alabama are held without bail until trial.
The shooting victim, Hydrick, was with his brother Ryan at the time of the shooting. The two had just left a bonfire and gathering of friends and were driving home around 3:00am when Moyers admitted confronting the men on the road. He told investigators he thought they were looking for a home to break into.
Moyers told investigators he shot at the small pickup with Hydrick inside. He said he fired a warning shot into the air, towards the truck. However, the bullet went through the cab of the truck and hit Hydrick in the back. He was pronounced dead on the scene.