Bill named after slain Auburn officer would make first responder murder a capital offense

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Thursday, a bill making its way through the Alabama Legislature was re-named in honor of slain Auburn police officer William Buechner.

The bill would make the murder of a first responder (such as a firefighter or ambulance technician) a capital offense. Under current state law, only murder of a police officer can be tried as a capital offense.

The bill, sponsored by State Rep. Chris Sells, also adds aggravating circumstances for capital charges when the victim is a first responder, prison or jail guard, or police officer.

The amendment to rename the bill was passed by the Senate Thursday, and the bill is heading back to the House for a final vote.

A person convicted of a capital offense could receive the death penalty or life in prison.

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