Attorney: Huntsville Police Officer William Darby will appeal guilty verdict in murder trial

Official mugshot of William Darby after guilty verdict in his murder trial

Stay with WAAY 31 for updates.

Posted: May 7, 2021 1:18 PM

Huntsville Police Officer William Darby has been found guilty of murder.

Defense attorney Robert Tuten issued this statement, referring to Darby as "Ben": "Everyone is shocked by the jury’s verdict. While we appreciate their hard work and will give their verdict the respect that it deserves, we still disagree with their decision. Officer Ben Darby will appeal this verdict. Once reviewed at the Appellate level, this verdict will not stand.

"Officer Darby’s case is extremely important to all Alabama Law Enforcement. This case will clarify Alabama law regarding on-duty police shootings and will impact the way law enforcement protect Alabamians and perform their duties. We look forward to the appeal of this case.” 

The jury in his trial issued its verdict Friday.

Darby has been on trial all week for the murder of Jeffrey Parker. a suicidal man he shot in 2018 while Parker held a gun to his own head during a confrontation with police.

Police say Darby only shot after Parker refused to drop his weapon.

Huntsville Police Chief Mark McMurray issued this statement after the verdict: “We are 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. 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."

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle issued this statement: “While I respect the jury’s opinion, I disagree with the verdict. We recognize this was a hard case with a lot of technical information to process. Officer Darby followed the appropriate safety protocols in his response on the scene. He was doing what he was trained to do in the line of duty. Fortunately, Officer Darby has the same appeal rights as any other citizen and is entitled to exercise those rights."

Stay with WAAY 31 for updates.

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