Murder trial for Huntsville Police Department officer William Darby set for February 24

Huntsville

William Darby

Data pix.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- A Madison County judge has set a February 24 trial date in the murder case of Huntsville police officer William Darby.

Darby is charged in the April 2018 on-duty shooting of Jeffrey Parker at Parker's home on Deramus Avenue.

Madison County Circuit Judge Donna Pate issued the formal trial date on Friday, but appears to have not yet ruled on a subpoena filed by the prosecution seeking records of the Huntsville Police Department's internal affairs investigation into the shooting. Darby was the third officer to respond to a 911 call in which Parker said he planned to kill himself.

The prosecution has argued the subpoena is necessary to understand Darby's testimony, which included references to different police interviews. The defense and an attorney for the City of Huntsville oppose the request. Huntsville's attorneys have argued the prosecution is not entitled to the information and that turning the records would have a chilling effect on future police internal affairs reviews.

Darby was cleared in the shooting by an HPD shooting review board. But, the case was presented to a Madison County grand jury which indicted Darby for murder in August 2018.

Officers are generally told that any information provided during an internal affairs investigation is not subject to be used against the officer in a criminal proceeding.

The judge has set a January 17 hearing date on pre-trial motions.