UAH shooter's case may be years before jury trial

By Elizabeth Gentle - bio | email

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - The tragic shooting on the campus of UA-Huntsville made national headlines.

Internet pages were full of information about the suspect's crime and her sordid past.

All the pre-trial publicity has raised a new question.

Can Amy Bishop Anderson receive a fair trial here or will her defense stand a better chance some place else?

It could be years before this case goes before a jury. One key factor the defense will consider: pre-trial publicity.

"I learn more from the press than you ever learn from me," said defense attorney Roy Miller.

He's handling Amy Bishop Anderson's defense.

She's charged with shooting six UAH faculty members, killing three of them.

It's a shocking crime that's grabbed local, national and internet headlines.

"Everyone is compelled to read about it watch it on TV," said defense attorney Jake Watson.

Watson is a defense attorney with no ties to this case.

But he's represented suspects in other high profile tragedies.

He said this case is complex and it will take years to prosecute.

Before Bishop Anderson's case ever goes to trial, she will undergo extensive psychological and mental evaluations.

The courts will test for IQ, any mental disorders and whether she's competent to stand trial.

Also, attorneys will dig deep into Bishop Anderson's sketchy past.

"It may not be immiscible but its going to require the defense to explore every aspect of her past which is a tremendous undertaking," said Watson.

There's also the looming question; can she get a fair trial?

"People all over the country have heard about this case, so where can she get a fair trial if not here?  Maybe she can in another county in Alabama," said Watson.

Co-counsel has yet to be assigned to this case.

Watson said whoever takes it on will have to dedicate their practice to Bishop Anderson's defense.

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