Huntsville police officer William Darby charged with murder doesn’t want dead person called victim

By The Associated Press

Huntsville police officer William Darby shown in a Madison County courtroom for a hearing on April 3, 2019. Darby is charged with murder.

An Alabama police officer charged with murder in the shooting of a man during a mental health call doesn’t want prosecutors to refer to the dead person as a victim during the upcoming trial.

An attorney for Huntsville police officer William Darby, 28, made the request in a motion filed Wednesday, WAAY-TV reported. The defense contended that allowing prosecutors to refer to Jeffrey Parker as a “victim” would inflame the jury and make it sound like the officer is guilty.

Prosecutors did not immediately respond to the motion, and Circuit Judge Donna Pate issued no ruling.

Darby’s trial is set to begin May 3.

Darby is charged with shooting Parker outside his home on April 3, 2018, after Parker called police saying he was suicidal. Darby was the third officer on the scene and fired while Parker held a gun to his own head, authorities have said.

A Huntsville Police Department shooting review board found Darby had acted within department policy, but a Madison County grand jury indicted him.

The defense contends the killing was justified since Parker refused to drop his gun, and the city is helping fund the officer’s defense.