Jury in case of Huntsville officer charged with murder ends first day of deliberations

Huntsville

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The jury in the murder trial for William “Ben” Darby received the case just before noon Thursday, after attorneys presented their closing arguments.

The jury went home at 5:30 p.m. without making a decision. Deliberations were set to resume at 8:30 a.m. Friday.

Darby is charged with killing Jeffery Parker at his home on Deramus Avenue in April 2018. Darby shot Parker as he sat in his home with a gun to his head, talking to another Huntsville police officer, Genisha Pegues. Parker had called 911 and told a dispatcher he planned to shoot himself.

Officer Darby was the third officer to respond to Parker’s home. Parker was killed by Darby after refusing to drop a gun that Parker had been holding to his own head.

In closing arguments, prosecutor Tim Douthit said Darby was the one who made the situation aggressive, not Parker, and that meant Parker was murdered.

But defense attorney Robert Tuten said Darby was not a murderer, and Parker presented a threat. Darby had seconds to react to the situation, Tuten said, and Parker was relaxed because he knew what he was going to do in the situation.

Seven men and five women make up the jury.

Darby took the stand in his murder trial Wednesday afternoon before his legal team rested their case.

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