Huntsville City wants to protect police records in Officer Darby murder case

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - There are new developments in the murder case of Huntsville Police Department Officer William Darby.

Darby is charged with killing Jeffrey Parker at Parker's home in 2018, after responding to a 911 call.

The city of Huntsville, which has paid $125,000 to defend Darby in the murder case, filed a motion Friday asking a judge to quash a prosecution subpoena seeking police records. Court records show the filing was submitted on Friday afternoon.

The subpoena is seeking to block records from the Huntsville Police Department's internal affairs investigation into the April 2018 shooting.

The city of Huntsville argues the subpoena would damage the confidentiality of the internal affairs process and violate Darby's 5th amendment rights. Basically, it argues police officers like Darby are required to answer internal affairs questions or face department discipline, with the understanding that the answers won't be used as part of a criminal case related to the conduct. They say it will jeopardize future internal affairs investigations if the city is forced to turn over the records.

Those protections for public employees compelled to testify to their employer are known as Garrity Rights. The exception for use of the records in a criminal trial appears to be related to using them in cross-examination. For example, if the officer testifies one way and the internal records tell a different story.

The filing also says Darby's trial date, which hasn't been officially announced, is set for February 2020.

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