Murder trial schedule in flux for Huntsville police officer William Darby

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Huntsville Police Officer William Darby was scheduled to go on trial for murder next month, but it appears that will not happen.

Darby is charged with the April 2018 on-duty shooting of Jeffrey Parker at Parker’s home in Huntsville. Darby was one of the officers who responded to a 911 call Parker made, claiming he was suicidal.

A pre-trial hearing for Darby was set for Tuesday, but it was continued. His lead attorney, Robert Tuten, filed for the continuance late last week saying schedule conflicts would prevent him from being able to attend the Jan. 21 hearing or the start of the Feb. 24 trial.

Now, with a busy court schedule coming up for attorneys in the case, Darby’s case could be pushed back several months.

Tuten is due to represent Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely  at his  trial on theft and ethics charges that is set to begin March 9.

Prosecutor Tim Gann also has death penalty-eligible murder cases coming up in April — the trial of Warren Hardy —  and June — the trial of Christopher Henderson .

So Darby’s case could be pushed back to the fall or later. Gann is also set to try Rhonda Carlson — who was charged in the same killings as Henderson — in October.

Darby testified at a hearing last year that he shot Parker after Parker refused to drop the gun he was holding next to his own head. A Huntsville Police Department shooting review board cleared Darby in the fatal incident, but a Madison County  grand jury indicted him for murder in August 2018.

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