Courtroom Blog: Amy Bishop Trial

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Photo: MGN Online

Amy Bishop

The trial was held Monday, September 24 and lasted just one day.  Below, read minute-by-minute details of what happened in the courtroom.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20125:26 pm

The live blog is complete. Here, read a summary the events in the courtroom:

Claire Aiello September 24, 20124:23 pm

Court dismissed.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20124:23 pm

Bishop being handcuffed. She is stoic as deputies escort her out. Judge asks everyone to stay in place as Bishop leaves.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20124:22 pm

Judge Mann asks Bishop if she understands she had the right to appeal, and she waived that right. Bishop is now remanded to the custody of the Alabama Department of Corrections.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20124:22 pm

Judge Mann sentences Bishop to life in prison without the possibility of parole, for capitol murder. Fines, restitution will also be included. For each count of attempted murder, life in prison.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20124:21 pm

She also expressed great remorse to her family, she is ‘Shattered beyond relief” Miller said.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20124:20 pm

Judge Mann asks Bishop if there is anything she would like to say. Roy Miller says he will speak for her; “She is under great stress.” Miller says Bishop has expressed wanting to write letters throughout the process, to the victims. Miller said he and her other lawyers have advised her not to do that until now.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20124:19 pm

Judge also asking state if they have any witnesses for sentencing. No, District Attorney Broussard replies.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20124:18 pm

Judge Mann asks if Bishop is ready to proceed to sentencing. Yes, her lawyers reply.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20124:18 pm

Judge is calling Bishop to his bench, with her lawyers.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20124:17 pm

Judge is dismissing jury. Judge thanks them for their service.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20124:16 pm

Foreperson is standing. “We the jury find the defendant Amy Bishop Anderson guilty of capital murder.”

Claire Aiello September 24, 20124:15 pm

Jury entering room.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20124:15 pm

District Attorney Rob Broussard is here now. Judge Mann said he’s been informed the jury has reached a verdict.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20124:14 pm

Victims’ families are back in the courtroom.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20124:13 pm

Prosecutors are coming back in the courtroom. DA Rob Broussard is not here at the moment. The defense never left; Amy Bishop has been here all along. Jury is not in the courtroom, though. Victims’ families aren’t here, either.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20124:02 pm

Jury still in deliberations.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20123:48 pm

Jury is now going to the jury room.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20123:47 pm

Judge is now dismissing the 2 alternate jurors.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20123:46 pm

“Don’t do any deliberating or discussing unless all 12 of you are in the room together.”

Claire Aiello September 24, 20123:46 pm

Judge Mann said jurors cannot use notes jurors took, to illustrate a point to others about what happened in court. “You may use them for your benefit and your benefit only.”

Claire Aiello September 24, 20123:43 pm

Judge Mann is reading the names of those who died, and the counts that show Bishop is charged in each of their deaths.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20123:34 pm

Judge reading a list of instructions to jury.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20123:32 pm

Judge Mann now instructing the jury.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20123:31 pm

“We have all done our jobs, and now it’s time to do yours, and go find her guilty of capital murder.” – Gann.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20123:30 pm

“It’s time for closure for these families, and the UAH community. It is time for justice. That’s why we’re here today.”

Claire Aiello September 24, 20123:29 pm

“Our burden has already been met. The bigger question, why are we here? There must be an accountant for innocent blood. That’s why we’re here… We are here to get a just result.” – Tim Gann

Claire Aiello September 24, 20123:28 pm

Asst. DA Tim Gann now giving rebuttal (prosecution). Says state has proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20123:28 pm

“We thank you for your time, and we thank you for your service,” Abston said.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20123:27 pm

Abston: “Amy Bishop Anderson has pleaded guilty to capital murder.” He’s also talking about the jury’s role in this case; did the state prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. “Unusual case; one we don’t do every day.” “No factual dispute. We ask that you take the instructions the judge is about to give you, and apply them to the facts in this case.”

Claire Aiello September 24, 20123:26 pm

Wallace is finished. Barry Abston now talking for the defense.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20123:25 pm

“No doubt this defendant did it.” Bishop shakes her head and whispers a comment to her lawyer at this comment.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20123:24 pm

“Everyone has done their job — officers, investigators, lawyers.. now, we are presenting the case to you.” – Wallace to jury.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20123:20 pm

Wallace says the law requires a panel of 12 jurors to hear a capital murder case, and for the state to prove its case to 12 people who have not heard the evidence before.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20123:18 pm

Wallace reiterates this really is an unusual circumstance, with the defendant already pleading guilty.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20123:17 pm

Closing arguments now. The state goes first – Asst. DA Maggie Wallace.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20123:17 pm

We’re back. The state rests its case. The defense rests as well.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20123:08 pm

Judge calls a short recess – calls the attorneys to the bench. Jury dismissed for just a few minutes.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20123:07 pm

Miller: “Charlie, this case was the worst to the nth degree.. and you’ve taken great pains to preserve the evidence”.

Investigator Gray: “Yes sir.”

Miller “I have no further questions.”

Claire Aiello September 24, 20123:06 pm

Miller asks about police’s interview with Bishop’s husband, Jim Anderson. “Did he have any indication this was going to happen?”

“He says he didn’t,” Gray replied.

Miller repeated the question, and Gray replied with the same answer.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20123:05 pm

Miller now asking Investigator Gray what things he found in the search of Bishop’s home and office. Gray said at the home, they found an empty box for a Rueger gun. Found some extra ammunition.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20123:03 pm

Miller asking about her borrowing a cell phone. Gray confirms what he said a few minutes ago, when the prosecutors asked about this. Miller still isn’t disputing anything.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20123:02 pm

Miller is asking Investigator Gray if he knew what caused the gun to jam. Gray said the gun could be dirty, or a limp wrist may also cause it to jam.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20123:00 pm

Miller still isn’t disputing anything. He’s just going over all of the events of the shooting, Bishop calling her husband.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:59 pm

Miller asked if Bishop had a role in the meeting. “No,” Gray said. “She went of her own volition” Miller asked. “yes”

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:58 pm

Miller said the room is very small (the conference room).

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:57 pm

Gray confirms he has worked the case for 30 months. Miller isn’t disputing anything; he’s asking Gray about how this case has stayed with him.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:57 pm

Miller asks about the weather that day. Was it snowing? Gray doesn’t remember. Asks how Gray got assigned to the case. Gray said he was the on-call homicide unit.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:56 pm

Defense – cross examination. Roy W. Miller. “This is not an adversarial proceeding.” Says he wants to go through a few items to pick up some extra information for the jury.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:55 pm

Bishop was taken in custody in this area.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:55 pm

Looking at more photos – bullets, the outside of the Shelby Center on the UAHuntsville campus. The back corner of the building where the loading dock is located.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:54 pm

Bishop is looking up again. It’s tough to tell if she’s been crying or not; the lighting in the room is dark right now as the photos are displayed.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:53 pm

Another photo, closeup of the gun. Investigator Gray said the gun was wet, indicating it had just been washed. We see another close-up photo of the gun; the bullets that appear jammed. Gray confirms that is consistent with Dr. Moriarity’s testimony that the gun jammed.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:52 pm

Photo now of the garbage can in the ladies’ restroom on the second floor. Shows Bishop’s plaid jacket. It has a blood stain on the front. Another photo shows the firearm at the bottom of the same trash can.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:50 pm

Bishop keeps her head down as these photos are shown.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:49 pm

The photos also show furniture, tables, chairs scattered around the room. Bishop now has her head down, as these photos are shown.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:48 pm

Photo 1 shows the corridor outside of the conference room. Photo 2, 3 show inside the conference room. These photos show the victims on the floor.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:47 pm

Asst. DA Gann is about to go through crime scene photos. Judge Mann is warning people these are often a standard part of murder trials, and asks anyone who doesn’t want to see these to please leave the courtroom. He also asks for no outbursts as these are displayed.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:46 pm

Gray now talking about Bishop going to Larry’s Pistol and Pawn to do target practice.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:45 pm

They obtained documents to show a motive; the issue of tenure. She had been denied tenure, and she appealed, and was denied again. Appeal lasted through the summer of 2009. Final decision (about Bishop’s tenure) was made around Nov. 2009.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:44 pm

Police then arrested her for capital murder and sent her to jail. Said the investigation didn’t end that day. They obtained search warrants for Bishop’s office and home.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:44 pm

Now talking about the interview with Bishop. “It didn’t happen. I wasn’t there. It wasn’t me.” Gray said that was the theme of the interview.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:43 pm

Once Bishop called her husband, she went to the basement, then to a loading dock. Police and a sheriff’s deputy were there and took her into custody.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:43 pm

DA Gann asks Investigator Gray to show these places on a diagram. He is now pointing to these areas.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:42 pm

Said Bishop left 3rd floor, went to ladies’ bathroom on 2nd floor. Washed gun, put it in trash basket. Put her jacket in trash basket. Left, went to room 228. There was a lab in progress. She went to a professor to ask to borrow his cell phone, to call her husband.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:41 pm

Gann asks Investigator Gray ‘what happened in that room?’ Gray said there was a faculty meeting. Bishop pulled out a gun and started shooting people. Said Dr. Moriarity grabbed her legs, she ran out of the room, the gun clicked.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:40 pm

He then went in the crime scene, and saw 3 bodies. He ordered an autopsy for each. Cause of death – Dr. Johnson – gunshot wound to head. Manner of death – homicide. Dr. Johnson – same. Dr. Podila – gunshot wound to chest. Manner of death – homicide.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:39 pm

Gray had all witnesses go to the building next door. Had Amy Bishop transported to the South precinct.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:38 pm

Gray went to Room 369, the conference room where the shooting happened. He noticed a spent 9 mm shell casing on the floor leading to the conference room. He noticed 3 bodies on the floor; blood, papers, medical debris.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:38 pm

Gray said he was told 6 people were shot – 3 possibly dead, 3 injured. Others were ok. He also learned the offender was a professor and she was in custody.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:37 pm

Gray responded to the crime scene that day. He is talking about the different agencies who were there, when he arrived. When he arrived, he went to the command post on Sparkman Drive. The purpose was to get information, get a briefing about what had happened.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:36 pm

Gray will discuss photographs from the crime scene. Asst. DA Tim Gann is questioning him.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:36 pm

Court is back in session. The state is calling Huntsville Police Investigator Charlie Gray.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:26 pm

Dr. Moriarity finished, leaves the stand. Judge Mann calls for a short break. (5-10 minutes, we estimate)

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:25 pm

Abston also double checked if there had been any other comments about Bishop wanting to kill herself. Other than that phone conversation, Moriarity said no. Abston said no further questions.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:25 pm

Abston asked what Dr. Moriarity meant when she said ‘she’d help her.’ Dr. Moriarity said she thought of Bishop’s daughter, and that she didn’t want to get shot. She tried to be friendly toward her to not get shot.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:24 pm

Abston also asking about the proximity of Dr. Moriarity’s office and Dr. Bishop’s office. They were close, Moriarity said.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:23 pm

Asking Dr. Moriarity about the timing of the tenure process. 2003? He asked? Dr. Moriarity said ‘it’s 5 years.’ Dr. Moriarity said she lost both her parents during the last several years, so she may have had the exact year wrong ‘the years blur together.’

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:21 pm

Defense lawyer Barry Abston is now questioning Dr. Moriarity.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:21 pm

Wallace asks if there were any other events that happened before the shooting that were unusual – any conversations with Bishop. At one point, Bishop wanted to see the provost again, and Bishop said “I want to kill myself.” Dr. Moriarity was able to calm her down. Bishop said she had to leave to take her child somewhere. She and Moriarity talked on the phone later and said Bishop said she was fine.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:19 pm

Wallace now asking Dr. Moriarity about the time that unfolded afterwards. She said it was between 20-25 minutes and Bishop was in custody.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:18 pm

Dr. Moriarity said as Bishop fired the shots, she looked “extremely determined, with her jaw set.” Bishop looks down at the table as this testimony unfolds. Doesn’t show emotion.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:17 pm

Said Roger Cruz-Vera noticed he was injured; hadn’t noticed that previously.. he had an injury on his neck. Another person told him to sit back and that person applied pressure.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:16 pm

Asst. DA Wallace asked what it was like when Dr. Moriarity went back in the conference room. Dr. Moriarity said she tried to hide in the corner, as small as possible, in case Bishop came back in. Said everyone who wasn’t shot was trying to help someone who was. “Joe’s still alive” – they grabbed a pack of napkins. People were on their phones, calling 911… grabbed a shirt to hold on Stephanie Monticcioloo..

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:13 pm

The conference room only has one door. No other entrances.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:13 pm

“Think of my daughter, think of my grandson,” Dr. Moriarity said. Dr. Bishop didn’t stop, but pointed the gun at her. They both kind of made their way out of the conference room.. The gun clicked.. Dr. Moriarity realized it wasn’t going to fire.. so she got back in the room and shut the door, and bolted it.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:12 pm

Dr. Moriarity looked down to pick something up. All of a sudden heard a loud bang. She thought someone had dropped something. Heard a second bang. Then she looked up.. saw one victim slumped over, and then saw Bishop point the gun at someone else. Dr. Moriarity got down immediately. Went under the table, said the next tings she saw were Bishop’s legs. Bishop stepped, Moriarity said “Amy stop, don’t do this. I’ve helped you before, I’ll help you again.”

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:10 pm

Wallace asks if Dr. Bishop said anything during the faculty meeting. “No,” Dr. Moriarity said. She said this was unusual. She looked “down,” and Dr. Moriarity made a mental note to talk with her after the meeting. Said this was not like Bishop. Bishop usually offered to help with things, volunteered, etc.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:08 pm

It’s a diagram of the conference room, and where everyone was sitting. Dr. Moriarity said there’s not a lot of room to move in the conference room. She is now standing up to point and reference different parts for the jury (at Wallace’s request.)

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:06 pm

Wallace asked Dr. Moriarity if she remembered when the defendant came in the room. Yes. There were still some empty seats. She sat next to Dr. Gopi Podila, right in front of the door. Wallace now refers to a diagram of the conference room.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:05 pm

Dr. Moriarity talking about the faculty meeting now, at the Shelby building. The day the shooting happened – Feb. 12, 2010. They were going to meet to talk about upcoming schedules, what they would do in the fall, planning-type information. Bishop’s employment would have ended after the spring semester.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:04 pm

Asst. DA Wallace asked Moriarity if anything about these encounters led her to believe something was out of the ordinary. Dr. Moriarity said no.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:03 pm

Dr. Bishop came across Dr. Moriarity in the hall at another time after that, and said she, Bishop, said she still wanted to write a grant proposal for her.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:02 pm

DA Wallace asked Dr. Moriarity to describe the last conversation she had with Dr. Bishop about being denied tenure. This was at the same time as the faculty Christmas party. “There are no other steps to be taken. The provost won’t rehear the case.” Dr. Moriarity said she urged Bishop to look elsewhere for a job. Bishop was worried about teaching her class at the same time, and they bought thought Dr. Gopi Podila (dept. chair) would allow her time to do this.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:00 pm

Dr. Moriarity said Dr. Bishop wasn’t unlike other people who have been denied tenure. However, most people aren’t as boisterous about discussing their denial. Said some of the faculty “Is Amy bugging you as much as she’s bugging me about this?”

Claire Aiello September 24, 20122:00 pm

Dr. Moriarity said Dr. Bishop worked hard, was in the lab alot; was very involved in her research. Said Bishop was quick to jump to conclusions. Worked with several different people in the department on projects. Said Bishop was very vocal, and involved in things. “A little excitable,” Dr. Moriarity said of Dr. Bishop.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20121:58 pm

Asst. DA Wallace asks Dr. Moriarity about Dr. Bishop’s mood during the process. Bishop was distraught; said she was consulting a lawyer about filing a lawsuit. Dr. Moriarity said this happens often. Bishop also talked about filing an EEO claim. Dr. Bishop was anxious also, because she was the chief breadwinner in the family.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20121:57 pm

Wallace asks Dr. Moriarity if Dr. Bishop had talked with her about the application process, the tenure being denied. Dr. Moriarity said yes, she did. Dr. Bishop said she had 2 other papers ready for publication; could those be added. She also asked Dr. Moriarity to ask the provost if the department could re-vote. Bishop was very distraught about the decision. “My life is over,” Bishop said. Dr. Moriarity said no, it wasn’t, she could apply at other places.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20121:55 pm

The next step was to appeal the process. Bishop appealed, and part of the appeal decision was favorable to Bishop, but other parts were not favorable for her. The decision to deny tenure and promotion stayed. That decision came in the fall of 2009, Dr. Moriarity said.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20121:53 pm

Departmental committee: decision was to not recommend tenure or promotion. Another decision, a few months later, was to not recommend tenure.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20121:52 pm

Tenure applications happen in a person’s 5th year. Bishop’s tenure application was considered in 2008, so she had been at UAHuntsville since approximately 2003.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20121:51 pm

Dr. Moriarity is still explaining the tenure process. It’s very detailed about how a person’s application for tenure goes up the ladder. Several departments, and chairpersons involved. Takes several months.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20121:49 pm

Dr. Moriarity said tenure candidates are reviewed over a five-year process. Candidates should submit paperwork such as service activities, research, class syllabus, etc.. all of that is put into a dossier that goes to a review committee for the department.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20121:47 pm

Asst. DA Maggie Wallace asks Dr. Moriarity to explain the tenure process.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20121:46 pm

Defendant went by ‘Amy Bishop’ at work. “Did you work well with the defendant? Did you get along with her?” Dr. Moriarity said yes. “We were good colleagues and talked with each other about things going on in our families.”

Claire Aiello September 24, 20121:46 pm

Dr. Moriarity says she was involved in Bishop’s hiring process. Was part of the search committee that interviewed candidates. Said she and Bishop were colleagues at work; would chat about their kids.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20121:45 pm

Dr. Moriarity has a Ph.D. in biochemistry. Became interim chair in May 2010, and is now full chair. She also teaches biochemistry classes and has also taught genetics and biology.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20121:44 pm

Maggie Wallace, Asst. DA is questioning Dr. Moriarity. Asking her basic questions – what city does she live in, where she works. UAHuntsville, she replies. Currently, the chair of the biological sciences dept.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20121:43 pm

State calls Dr. Deb Moriarity to the stand.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20121:41 pm

Defense attorney Robert Tuten is giving his opening statement now. Thanking jurors for their service. Asks jurors to turn off their opinions, emotions as they hear this case. “Make sure the state has met its burden of proof; beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Claire Aiello September 24, 20121:40 pm

“We will show you this evidence and asked you to return a verdict of guilty of capital murder,” said Tim Gann, Asst. DA.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20121:40 pm

Gann says prosecutors will show elements that prove this timeline of events. Bishop is staring at the wall during his statement.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20121:39 pm

Gann says Bishop fled to a women’s restroom, where she took off her jacket, dumped it, and her gun, and cleaned herself up. She left, called her husband and asked him to come pick her up. She went to the basement, Gann said. To a loading dock. She went out that door expecting to meet her husband. Instead, she met a Madison County deputy and Huntsville Police Officer, who arrested her.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20121:38 pm

Dr. Johnson and Dr. Davis were both killed instantly. Shot in the head. Dr. Podila shot in the chest, and bullet came out his back. Died shortly afterward.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20121:37 pm

Gann: Dr. Deb Moriarity reached under the table and pulled Bishop’s ankles. Bishop pointed the gun at Moriarity. The gun jammed. Wouldn’t fire. Bishop got up and left. Moriarity got up and bolted the door. “It was like a warzone in there. Like a bomb had gone off.” – Gann.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20121:35 pm

Gann: Bishop brought a 9 mm and an extra magazine to that meeting. He says Bishop shot the victims with precision, like she had been practicing. Less than a week before the shooting, she had taken target practice at Larry’s Pistol and Pawn.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20121:34 pm

“Someone else showed up that day. Amy Bishop. She had an ax to grind.” – Tim Gann

Claire Aiello September 24, 20121:33 pm

Asst. DA Tim Gann is describing what happened February 12, 2010. It was a Friday afternoon, cold. Gann named all of the people who were in the biology dept. faculty meeting.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20121:31 pm

Court is back in session. The jury just walked back in. Opening statements will begin now.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201211:52 am

Here is an update on the trial proceedings so far:

Claire Aiello September 24, 201211:42 am

Judge Mann said court will resume at 1:30pm. Opening statement and presentation of the evidence will happen at that time.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201211:41 am

Judge Mann warning jurors NOT to discuss the case on Facebook, Twitter, etc. He said there was a case in south Alabama where a juror went home every night and posted about the case on Facebook. He urges jurors to keep themselves in a bubble until this case is over.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201211:40 am

Judge is still addressing the jury. Talking with them about the importance of NOT discussing the case. “We’ve had several mistrials here this year because a juror overheard something they should not have heard,” Judge Mann said.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201211:37 am

The UAHuntsville student is NOT in the jury pool, and neither is the wife of the university professor who spoke up and said seeing the pictures would be tough for her. A teacher at Discovery Middle School was also dismissed.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201211:34 am

Jury is taking the oath now. 12 jurors and 2 alternate jurors.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201211:33 am

They’ve picked the jury. The rest of the jurors will go to the 6th floor, to potentially serve in other trials this week.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201211:32 am

The jury is back in the courtroom. Judge Mann is calling some of their names, to ask them to come forward.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201211:28 am

From Carson Clark: They kept an attorney. Interesting.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201211:27 am

They are finished striking jurors.. about to bring everyone back in to let the pool know who’s been picked.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201211:21 am

This photo was taken during the recent break. Bishop’s lawyers had stepped away for a few moments, and she appears to be on her own, but there were 2 guards just behind her.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201211:19 am

Still going through juror numbers.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201211:14 am

The jurors are not in the courtroom yet to hear this. Defense and prosecution are calling out numbers back and forth now.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201211:14 am

Lawyers are calling out numbers of jurors to strike them now. That means they will be eliminated from the jury pool, for this trial.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201211:12 am

It doesn’t appear anyone from Amy Bishop’s family is here. We don’t see her husband, children or her parents.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201211:11 am

We’re about to get started again. Judge is talking with the lawyers for both sides.. jury pool is still out of the courtroom.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201210:52 am

Tuten is finished talking to the jurors. Judge Mann said there will be a 20 minute break. Resuming at 11:10am. At that point, they’ll seat a jury. Judge Mann urges jurors NOT to discuss the case with anyone.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201210:46 am

Tuten says ‘everybody has heard something about this case.’ Asked if anyone had NOT heard about this case. No one raised their hand.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201210:45 am

Tuten talking about ‘voir dire’ – a French term for jury selection.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201210:44 am

Tuten: this is an awkward situation. “This is not normally the way we do things in the courtroom.”

Claire Aiello September 24, 201210:43 am

Robert Tuten now speaking to jury. He’s on the defense team.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201210:43 am

The jury’s role is still important, he says. It’s a job, it’s a serious, solemn job.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201210:42 am

Broussard making it clear this is not a death penalty case. The sentence will be life in prison without parole. He says the state still has to prove its case. What is different, no one in the courtroom doubts any of the evidence. By that, he does not mean to minimize the jury’s role.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201210:41 am

One juror stood up and said yes. Said her husband is a University professor; it would be too traumatic for her.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201210:41 am

Broussard: “it has to have occured to you, the carnage that was in that room.” says jurors will have to look at some photographs from the room. Asking jurors if that would be too much for them.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201210:39 am

Broussard now talking about Dr. Gopi Podila, who died. Said his family members have moved away.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201210:38 am

Broussard now explaining why this was a capital murder case. It was an act against more than one person. Amy Bishop is listening, looking straight at Broussard.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201210:37 am

One juror says she knows Gray, but said it wouldn’t affect her ability to be fair and impartial.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201210:37 am

Dr. Deb Moriarity – will testify. Asking if anyone knows her. Asking if anyone knows HPD investigator Charlie Gray.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201210:36 am

Broussard is asking if anyone knows the victims. Dr. Joseph Leahy is now standing up. Asking if anyone knows him.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201210:36 am

Broussard said other victims are here – he is introducing Dr. Sammy Davis, the widower of Dr. Maria Ragland Davis. Dr. Johnson, widow of Dr. Adriel Johnson. Dr. Johnson is a professor at Alabama A&M.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201210:34 am

State plans to call 2 witness – an eyewitness to the event, and Huntsville Police investigator Charlie Gray.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201210:33 am

Broussard: this may take a day or a day and a half at the most.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201210:33 am

Broussard said usually, it’s ‘adversarial’ but not in this case. No one is disputing the facts in this case. Broussard said this will be ‘a rather accelerated procedure.’

Claire Aiello September 24, 201210:32 am

Prosecutors now talking to jurors. District Attorney Rob Broussard says he has faced this defense team before today many times, but never in a proceeding like this.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201210:29 am

No jurors have been chosen, or eliminated yet. We’re not to that part yet.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201210:29 am

The UAHuntsville student said Dr. Podila was her teacher.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201210:28 am

Judge listing the victims who died now. Dr. Adriel Johnson, Dr. Gopi Podila and Dr. Maria Ragland Davis. Asking if anyone knew them.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201210:28 am

Judge asks “of those of you who answered that you know them, would it affect your ability to be fair and impartial?” No, they say.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201210:27 am

4 say yes. 1 juror said he knew Broussard from high school. “Can we put you under oath?” judge asks, jokingly.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201210:26 am

Judge introducing the prosecutors now. Tim Gann, Maggie Wallace, and Rob Broussard. Judge asking jurors if they are related to them, or know them.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201210:25 am

Judge Mann: Does the fact that you know them (to the jurors) affect your ability to be fair and impartial in the case? All say no.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201210:25 am

Judge is asking if any jurors are related to the defense lawyers, or know them. 3 jurors have stood up to say so.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201210:24 am

Judge Mann is asking any jurors if they know Bishop-Anderson or are related to her. One juror stood up and said she is a jailer, and has had some interactions with the defendant.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201210:23 am

Jurors are done speaking. Judge Mann is speaking again.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201210:22 am

One juror is a current student at UAHuntsville.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201210:21 am

So far, there are one or two lawyers, a retired physicist, a teacher, some retired teachers, a registered nurse, some stay-at-home moms, a cosmetologist, and several retired members of the military. Some say their spouses are retired military as well.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201210:18 am

Still going through the jurors. People are stating what they do, what their spouses do. Lawyers for both sides are taking notes about each juror.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201210:15 am

Jurors are now standing up, saying their name, marital status, what they do for a living, and what their spouse does, if they are married.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201210:12 am

Judge Mann is asking jurors to speak loud, and clearly when they answer questions.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201210:09 am

Judge Mann says death penalty is no longer involved in this case; that won’t weigh on jurors’ minds. Jurors are only here to make sure the state has proved Bishop’s guilt, beyond a reasonable doubt.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201210:08 am

Judge Mann is explaining to the jury pool that this case is unusual; Bishop has already pleaded guilty. The state is held to the burden of proving Bishop guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201210:08 am

Jury pool is here now – 40 people. They’ll pick 14 – 12 jurors and 2 alternate jurors.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201210:05 am

The judge is now addressing the court. He says jury selection is about to start; asking people to be quiet as they come in and out.

Claire Aiello September 24, 201210:01 am

This is a picture of Bishop with her lawyers, and security.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20129:59 am

Lawyers for both sides are at the bench.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20129:58 am

Judge Alan Mann is here. We’ll get started shortly.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20129:57 am

Prosecutors are here. Assistant DA’s Tim Gann, Maggie Wallace, and Madison County District Attorney Rob Broussard.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20129:55 am

UAHuntsville victims are here now. Dr. Deb Moriarity, who was not shot but was in the conference room, some family members of victims, and we believe Dr. Joseph Leahy, one of the survivors. They are seated on the left hand side of the courtroom. They will be behind the prosecution once they come in.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20129:49 am

From Beth Jett: When guards brought Bishop in, they cleared the hallway between the elevator and the courtroom entrance. Security is extremely tight; all people who come in the courthouse are being screened; even employees.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20129:48 am

Bishop is wearing a red jail suit. 2 guards stand behind her.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20129:47 am

Amy Bishop is now in the courtroom. She is shackled. You could hear chains as she walked in. Her lawyers are with her, along with several security guards.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20129:24 am

A few more jurors are being dismissed for various reasons. They have not started choosing a jury for Bishop’s trial yet.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20129:23 am

Judge Alan Mann has just addressed the jury pool. He thanked them for being here and doing their civic duty, and expressed appreciation that they are giving their time to participate in this jury week.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20129:07 am

The court administrator, Jackie Wolfe, just said they will pull about 40 jurors for the Bishop trial. (Not all will be selected.)

Claire Aiello September 24, 20128:59 am

They are now dismissing jurors for medical reasons, other conflicts. More than 100 remain.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20128:47 am

Jury selection for the Bishop trial isn’t scheduled to start until 10am. They are excusing jurors from the pool now who had made requests to be dismissed.

Claire Aiello September 24, 20128:46 am

Beth Jett and I are in the courtroom – a court official has just addressed a large pool of jurors. These are potential jurors who have been called for all kinds of cases this week – civil and criminal; not just the Bishop trial. There are probably 100+ people in the courtroom.