Jury selection to begin in Huntsville police officer's murder trial

The murder trial for Huntsville Police Officer William Darby is scheduled to begin Monday after being delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Posted: Apr 30, 2021 7:33 PM
Updated: Apr 30, 2021 7:47 PM

The murder trial for Huntsville Police Officer William Darby is scheduled to begin Monday after being delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

We spoke with a Huntsville defense attorney about what we could see during the trial.

William Darby

Huntsville attorney Mark McDaniel said Friday that the main issue in this case is whether William Darby was reasonable when he shot a suicidal Jeffrey Parker in 2018.

The issue is not whether Darby shot Jeffrey Parker.

McDaniel says the law on the issue is that a person can use deadly physical force if he reasonably believes the other person is using or about to use unlawful deadly physical force against him or another person.

McDaniel says the main evidence in the case will be the body camera footage.

"One side's gonna say, they're gonna look at it and say the defendant didn't act reasonable. The other side is gonna say he did act reasonable. They'll have expert witnesses probably come in, both sides will have them come in," said Mark McDaniel, Huntsville attorney.

It will be up to the jury, though, to decide whether Darby was reasonable or not in shooting Jeffrey Parker. The process to select that jury starts Monday.

The district attorney's office has previously said they will be pulling from a jury pool of 60 people.

Huntsville attorney Mark McDaniel said the process for picking jury members will start with the judge asking questions about pre-trial publicity and fixed opinions on the case.

McDaniel said that if you've lived in this community, you've heard about the Darby case because it was a big story back in 2018 that Darby shot Jeffrey Parker after responding to a call that Parker was suicidal.

McDaniel said the judge will also ask if the jurors can render an impartial verdict that is based on what they hear from the witness stand alone.

The lawyers will also have an opportunity to ask the jurors questions after the judge.

"You've got really good lawyers on both sides and so, they're pros in jury selection. That's what's going to be important. It's the most important part in any case is jury selection," said McDaniel.

Once all the jury members and alternatives have been picked, they'll proceed with Darby's murder trial.

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