Defense attorney: Convicted HPD officer will appeal guilty verdict

Huntsville

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Defense attorney Robert Tuten spoke at a news conference after his client, Huntsville Police officer William Darby was declared guilty Friday morning.

Tuten confirmed that Darby would appeal the decision.

“To say that people are shocked at this verdict would be a big understatement,” said Tuten. “Certainly we appreciate the hard work that the jury did this week. The things they had to think about, we know it was difficult for them. We will certainly give their verdict the respect it deserves, but it still remains that we disagree with their verdict.”

Tuten went on to say the outcome of this trial would “affect every law enforcement agency in the state and how they protect the citizens, how they respond to calls with people with a gun and how they respond to suicide threats.”

Robert Tuten also gave hope to clarifying Alabama law in order to, “bring some changes as to how these officers are forced to operate and make sure they have the protection that they need to protect the citizens.”

Darby was convicted of killing Jeffery Parker, 49, at his home on Deramus Avenue in April 2018. Darby shot Parker as he sat in his home with a gun to his head, talking to another Huntsville police officer, Genisha Pegues. Parker had called 911 and told a dispatcher he planned to shoot himself.

The jury took a little over two hours Friday morning to deliver the guilty verdict. The jury restarted deliberations after a  juror that had a medical issue was replaced with an alternate. The jury deliberated about four and a half hours Thursday.

Tuten said there would be no issue with Darby making bond. “I expect him to be released before close of business today.”

Darby was released from the Madison County Jail on $100,000 bond.

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