Parties skirmish over Internal Affairs records in Darby murder case

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – A Madison County judge is waiting to hear from prosecutors and lawyers for Huntsville police officer William Darby before ruling in a key dispute in Darby’s murder trial.

Judge Donna Pate has set a Friday deadline for the two sides to respond.

The battle is over the prosecutor’s efforts to get hold of the internal affairs investigation into Darby’s officer-involved shooting in April 2018.

He was cleared by a Huntsville Police Department review panel but later indicted by a Madison County grand jury for murder.

Prosecutors want to be allowed to compare Darby’s statements to internal affairs investigators to any testimony he may give in his murder trial, which is currently set for February.

The city of Huntsville says releasing the records to prosecutors would hamper future police internal affairs investigations.

Normally those records aren’t used in criminal cases.

The exception is it can be used to impeach officer testimony in a trial if the officer’s testimony differs from what he told internal affairs.

Darby’s lawyers are also being asked to weigh in by Friday.

The city is asking Judge Pate to quash the prosecution subpoena or to be allowed to wait to provide the records until the eve of Darby’s testimony, rather than months in advance.

There is no indication when the judge will rule.