HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — An Alabama appeals court has granted oral arguments in the murder case of William “Ben” Darby, a former Huntsville Police Department officer.
According to an order from the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals, Presiding Judge Mary Windom stated both sides will be allowed 30 minutes of oral arguments. The arguments, however, will only be allowed to focus on the issues listed below.
- Whether the circuit court’s disabling of video in the spectator room denied Darby of his Sixth Amendment right to a public trial
- Whether the court improperly refused Darby’s request for instructions on the “law applicable to a jury’s consideration of an officer-involved shooting in the context of a self-defense claim”
The court declined to allow argument on whether the trial judge erred in denying Darby’s motion for a new trial.
Oral arguments are slated for November 10, 2022 at the Leslie S. Wright Fine Arts Center at Samford University in Birmingham.
Darby was convicted of murder in 2021 for the 2018 on-duty fatal shooting of 49-year-old Jeffrey Parker at Parker’s home in Huntsville. Parker had called 911 and told dispatchers he was suicidal. Darby, the third officer on the scene, was in Parker’s house for less than 15 seconds when he issued multiple orders telling Parker to drop the gun he was holding to his own head. Parker refused, and Darby killed him with a single shot from his shotgun.
Darby was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
During the trial, Darby’s defense attorney Robert Tuten argued his client “acted in a way that he thought was appropriate” and called the incident “police action” that kept other officers out of danger. Darby has filed his appeal of the conviction with the Alabama Court of Appeals.
Jail records show Darby remains incarcerated at the Limestone County Correctional Facility.