Deliberations started over after juror replaced in HPD Officer William Darby’s murder trial

Crime

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Four and a half hours of deliberations had to be restarted Friday after a juror in Huntsville Police Officer William Darby’s murder trial was replaced.

Judge Donna Pate said a juror had a medical issue and had to replaced with an alternate, which means the jury has to start over.

Darby was charged with 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.

Darby was cleared by a police review board, but a Madison County grand jury indicted him on a murder charge.

Prosecutors say Darby acted aggressively and that the situation was under control before he arrived. Darby’s attorneys say he relied on his training and reacted quickly in a situation where there was not much time for threat assessment.

The defense also contends Darby acted in self defense, so Pate instructed jurors that they have to consider if Alabama’s self-defense law applies if they believe there’s enough evidence for a murder conviction.

When deliberations resumed Friday morning, the jury also asked the judge again to offer the definition of burden of proof.

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