From The Tribune staff reports
HUNTSVILLE — Huntsville Police Officer William Darby was found guilty of murder on Friday, May 7, 2021.
Darby shot and killed Jeffrey Parker, 43, on April 3, 2018, after Parker called 911 saying he was going to kill himself.
Before Darby arrived, Genisha Pegues, who recently resigned as an officer, and Officer Justin Beckles talked with Parker, who was holding a gun to his head.
Pegues wasn’t pointing her weapon at Parker and told jurors she didn’t feel threatened, news outlets reported.
“My goal was to see where he was as far as his mental state,” Pegues testified. “My goal was to keep him talking, talk about other solutions than taking his life.”
The situation changed quickly when Darby arrived as backup. Armed with a shotgun, he ran to the front door of Parker’s home, yelled at Pegues to point her gun at the man and told Parker to drop the gun. When Parker failed to do so, Darby shot him in the face from across a room within seconds, video showed.
Darby later told an investigator that Pegues was in danger because she wasn’t pointing her weapon at Parker and didn’t have any cover.
“I regret it being necessary, but I do not regret my action,” Darby said in a video shown to jurors.
While the defense argued that the shooting was a justified case of self-defense, prosecutors contend Darby killed the man without cause, since Parker never pointed his weapon at police.