Jury hears testimony in Kenneth Shipp murder trial

By Elizabeth Gentle - bio | email

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Opening statements and testimony began today in the case against Kenneth Shipp.  Shipp is charged with the murder of Huntsville police officer Eric Freeman.

Defense attorneys admit their client shot and killed a Huntsville police officer.

The first witness called to the stand was retired Huntsville police officer Billy Hancock.

Hancock wasn't only involved in the fender bender with Kenneth Shipp, he also helped officers take him down just seconds after Eric Freeman was shot and killed.

He and his wife Connie, had just left Southern Family Market heading south on Bailey Cove the night of December 14, 2007 when their SUV was rear-ended by Kenneth Shipp.

Hancock testified that Shipp kept saying he didn't want to go to jail.

He wanted to leave the scene.

Hancock later told the court he witnessed officer Eric Freeman and officer Kevin Lambert trying to assist Shipp, who appeared intoxicated and had fallen face first to the ground.

Hancock said he heard a shot and his wife scream.

Hancock ran toward the scene, knocking Lambert and Shipp to the ground.

He got a hold of the gun, held the cylinder while Labmert called for help.

Hancock testified when backup arrived and handcuffed Shipp, he ran over to help officer Freemean, who had been shot once in the head directly between the eyes.

Hancock told the court Freeman was laying on his back with his head tilted.

"Come on buddy stay with me. You got your wife and kids. Help is on the way," Hancock said. "The only response I got was a grunt and that was it."

Kenneth Shipp is charged with capital murder.

If convicted, he could be sentenced to death or life in prison without parole.

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