Preliminary hearing Monday for man accused of killing Huntsville Police Officer Billy Clardy

Huntsville
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- The shooting death of Huntsville Police Officer Billy Clardy on Dec. 6 left a community shaken and in mourning. Now, the man accused of shooting Officer Clardy has his first significant court date next week.

LaJeromeny Brown is due in court Monday for a preliminary hearing.  A preliminary hearing requires the state to spell out the basics of its case and the defense can challenge it. The judge then has to decide if the state has shown it has enough evidence to send the case to a grand jury.

A judge issued a broad gag order in the case.

Brown, a native of Chattanooga, is charged with capital murder. Brown has a long record of criminal charges, primarily in Hamilton County, Tennessee, dating back more than two decades.

Officer Clardy was a member of the HPD STAC team that handles drug cases. A drug bust was planned for Dec. 6 with Brown as a target, police said. A drug buy was set up at a house on Levert Street. Brown is alleged to have shot Clardy during that encounter.

Officers at the scene drove Clardy to the hospital, where he died from his injuries.

Clardy was a decorated U.S. Army veteran and had received multiple commendations as a police officer. He'd been with the Huntsville Police Department since 2005.

Clardy was also well-known for his close work with Huntsville's homeless population. His death led to an outpouring of grief and pledges of support for his family. Huntsville Police Chief Mark McMurray called Clardy a hero.

The defense filed a motion with the court Friday asking that bond be set for Brown. He's been held without bond since Dec. 6. The defense suggested a bond amount of $50,000.

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