Murder trial looming for Huntsville police officer

Huntsville

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Huntsville Police Officer William Darby’s murder trial is less than one month away. He is charged with shooting and killing Jeffery Parker at his home in April 2018.

COVID-19 has delayed the trial for more than a year. A pre-trial conference was held Tuesday.

Attorneys for both the defense and prosecution were in court, but Darby was not present. Evidence was the main topic of discussion, specifically what attorneys think should not be used during the trial.

The murder charge stems from an incident that occurred almost three years ago. Parker called police and said he was suicidal. When police arrived, they said they found him sitting in a room holding a gun to his head.

Darby claims he shot Parker in self-defense and that he was protecting other officers, after arriving on scene. He was the third officer on the scene.

Darby’s lawyer, Robert Tuten, filed a motion Monday asking to exclude testimony from Officer Genisha Pegues who was on the scene. She has said previously in court that Parker told her he wasn’t going to shoot her. Tuten calls that hearsay. He argues that Darby didn’t hear the statement and he wasn’t told about the statement – so it’s irrelevant.

Prosecutors say Parker can be heard on the police body camera footage telling officer Pegues that he won’t shoot her. They say it could be used during the trial.

Last week, prosecutors asked the court to remove the results of HPD’s incident review board from evidence. The board said Darby acted within department policy before he was indicted in August 2018.

Prosecutors also say no evidence should be allowed that says the two other officers on the scene were ordered to attend “remedial training” after the incident.

Tuten told the judge he agrees with removing the results of the incident review board from evidence. But Darby’s attorney says other officers, specifically Genisha Pegues, violated her training and acted recklessly which placed her in mortal danger.

We are still waiting for Judge Donna Pate to rule on these motions.

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