Jury recommends life without parole for convicted police officer murderer

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - The has recommenced that Kenneth Shipp be sentenced to life without parole.

A jury found Kenneth Shipp guilty Thursday afternoon of capital murder in the slaying of a Huntsville police officer two years ago.

Shipp shot Officer Eric Freeman point-blank in the face on the evening of Dec. 15, 2007. Freeman died the next morning from his injuries.

The shooting occurred after reports of a traffic accident near the intersection of Bailey Cove Road and Weatherly Road in which Freeman and HPD officer Kevin Lambert attempted to arrest Shipp, who was sitting on the curb beside the accident scene. Shipp was going to be arrested for DUI when he pulled a handgun and shot Freeman.

Shipp was subdued by Lambert and two citizens who assisted him.

Earlier in the year, Shipp was taken to the hospital after being the victim of a shooting. He was shot in the foot by his son, who was charged with domestic violence. That shooting happened inside an apartment off Grandview Drive near Zierdt road.

Shipp had a previous DUI but no criminal history. He was employed at Redstone Arsenal at the time of the incident.

Defense attorneys said he suffered from significant depression and was recovering from surgery at the time of the shooting.

Testimony during the trial stated that Shipp had a blood alcohol count around double the level required for a DUI arrest. He also told people at the scene of the shooting that he had been taking painkillers and antidepressants prior to the crash that led up to Freeman's slaying.

During testimony, District Attorney Rob Broussard told the jury that intoxication was not an excuse to kill, and he said he wants Shipp punished for the crime.

Defense lawyers argued he was too impaired and shouldn't be convicted of capital murder because he didn't intentionally commit the crime.

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