Judge in Huntsville PD murder case asked to toss claim from officer who didn't feel threatened

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Attorneys for a Huntsville police officer charged with murder are asking a judge to prevent another officer from testifying she heard the shooting victim say, “I don’t want to hurt you,” in the moments before he was killed, court records show.

The defense team for Officer William Darby argues the statement Officer Genisha Pegues says she heard from Jeffrey Parker was not heard by another officer, and she did not relay that information to any officers at the scene. The motion filed Friday argues the statement is hearsay and not admissible. The defense also says that during the encounter the officers were under emergency radio silence.

Darby is scheduled to go on trial Feb. 24.

Pegues was the first officer at the scene on Deramus Avenue in April 2018 after Parker made a 911 call saying he was suicidal. Darby was the third officer on the scene. He ordered Parker several times to drop the gun he was holding to his own head, Parker refused, then Darby fatally shot Parker.

Pegues testified during Darby’s stand your ground hearing, where he argued he acted in self-defense and should not be tried for murder. She testified she did not feel threatened by Parker.

A Huntsville Police Department shooting review board found Darby acted within department policy, but a Madison County grand jury indicted him in August 2018.

Prosecutors contend Darby’s use of deadly force was not based on an imminent threat that Parker would harm him or other officers.

Darby testified at the self-defense hearing that Pegues had entered Parker’s home and was talking to him with no cover between her and an armed man. He testified he acted to protect Pegues.

Last year, Circuit Judge Donna Pate denied Darby’s claim to have the case tossed because he was acting in self-defense, to protect his own life, or the life of someone else.

The attorneys in the case are under a gag order.

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