Family friend of shooting victim speaks on officer’s murder indictment

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - It's hard for Rebecca Louthan to explain her feelings about the murder indictment of Huntsville Police Officer William Darby. Darby was charged with the murder of Jeffery Parker, the man Rebecca's mother was engaged to.

"One life has already been taken. Now a man who is only 25 years old. His whole life may not be how he planned it," said Louthan. "We just try and take everything one day at a time."

A Huntsville Police Department incident review board cleared Officer Darby of wrongdoing in May, but Friday's grand jury indictment for murder is confusing for Rebecca.

"I don't know if he did murder my soon to be stepfather or not," stated Louthan. "All we know is that he did shoot him, whether it was justified or not, we don't know."

She hasn't seen the body camera video of the shooting. Madison County District Attorney Rob Broussard says the footage is a key piece of evidence in the case against the officer.

"I'm not really hoping it will prove anything. I'm just hoping the truth will come out. That's all I'm hoping for." explained Louthan.

She says while it's an immense loss to pay, she hopes Parker's death sheds light on the need for more mental health training for police officers.

"He was calling for help. He left the door unlocked. When police rush into your house with guns drawn, you're looking for someone to come help you because you have a mental illness and you're looking for help because you don't know what else to do but call 911," said Louthan. "So I'm hoping If anything this will bring change to when people do call 911 because they're feeling suicidal."

Huntsville Police say Darby is on paid administrative leave and his trial is set for October 29.