28-year-old William “Ben” Darby is facing between twenty years and a life sentence for the 2018 murder of Jeffrey Parker, according to a jury ruling on Friday.
Parker contacted authorities on April 3, 2018, professing he was armed and wanted to commit suicide, AL.com reported. Huntsville Officer Genisha Pegues responded initially and started to make an effort at de-escalating the situation.
But when Darby showed up at the scene, he instantly started shouting at Pegues to “point your f–king gun at him,” body camera video showed.
Within 11 seconds of going into the home, Darby shot Parker in the face.
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Darby’s lawyer, partly paid for by the Huntsville City Council after members elected to commit $125,000 in public funds to his criminal defense, asserted that the cop shot Parker in self-defense. But District Attorney Rob Broussard pointed out on Friday after the judgment that Darby “had no business being a police officer.”
“He was not justified in any way with what he did to Mr. Parker,” Broussard stated in a press release, and said Darby’s actions were “off the charts.”
Tim Gann, Madison County’s chief trial lawyer, reflected comparable remarks.
“An innocent man was murdered,” Gann said to the jury. “He called for help and he got Ben Darby.”
Police Chief Mark McMurray stated he was “in the first stages of shock.”
“While we thank the jury for their service in this difficult case, I do not believe Officer Darby is a murderer,” McMurray’s statement mentioned.
“Officers are forced to make split-second decisions every day, and Officer Darby believed his life and the lives of other officers were in danger. Any situation that involves a loss of life is tragic. Our hearts go out to everyone involved.”
Kyle James Lee – The AEGIS Alliance – This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.