HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Benito Albarran’s prison suicide in Jefferson County brought out a new wave of emotions from many in the Tennessee Valley.
None came stronger than those affecting the Golden family in Lincoln County. Albarran was convicted of killing Huntsville Police Officer Daniel Golden in 2005. He was on death row at the William Donaldson Correctional Facility after a jury found him guilty of shooting the officer at point-blank range.
“He made definite choices, Albarran did, to end up where he was,” commented Madison County District Attorney Robert Broussard. “I mean, he chose to kill a Huntsville police officer… in an unspeakable fashion… His swan song was to make that choice to end it all.”
That choice once again brings pain to Golden’s family. David Golden, Daniel’s brother, says it took something from them.
“We all agree, we wanted to see this thing through. We wanted to see the execution,” he said. “I wanted to look into his eyes… because I know he looked into Daniel’s eyes when he pulled that trigger.”
It’s a choice that, to David Golden, seems kind of selfish.
“He took a coward’s way out,” he said.
But that’s a choice that doesn’t surprise Albarran’s former attorney, Bruce Gardner.
“Benito had a pretty substantial history of mental disease,” he said in an interview after learning of Albarran’s death. “I know this doesn’t do much for Golden’s family, but I know that Benito was genuinely remorseful about what he did.”
He said that choice was a bad one, but he “would hate to think that we would all be judged someday by the worst thing we’d ever done.”
As for the last thing Benito Albarran ever did, it’s still hard for the Goldens to process. They’re still getting over the shock of his untimely end, and working through the realization that this ten-year journey is over because of his choice to end his life.
But they’re making their own choice to keep safe, what Daniel left behind– “Lots of wonderful stories and memories with him,” explained his brother David. “That’s what we share. Nobody can ever take that away.”
He hopes people outside their family also remember Daniel as someone who served with pride.
“I’d like everybody to remember that he was a great person, someone who wanted to help people and cared about everybody, and enjoyed life. He loved life,” he said.
Albarran had filed an appeal that was working its way through the courts, but because of his death, that won’t move forward.