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Huntsville Officer's Statement Protected in Murder Trial


An Alabama judge says, at least for now, the city of Huntsville does not have to hand prosecutors copies of a statement made by a police officer charged with murder.

News outlets report Judge Donna Pate ruled yesterday that Officer William Darby's statements to an internal police review board are protected unless he decides to testify at his trial.

Prosecutors had sought the statements. Pate ordered the city to give prosecutors other records from the internal review of the shooting.

The Huntsville police officer is charged with murder in the April death of 49-year-old Jeffrey Parker. Police say Parker called police saying he was suicidal. They say Officer Darby shot Parker when he refused to drop his weapon.

The review board cleared Darby of wrongdoing. A grand jury later indicted him on a charge of murder.