Inquest into 1986 shooting by Amy Bishop begins

By Elizabeth Gentle - bio | email

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - The inquest into the 1986 shooting death of Amy Bishop's brother, Seth Bishop began Tuesday morning.

Bishop was never charged with a crime, however, an inquest was launched in that case shortly after she was arrested in February for shooting six faculty members at UAH.

Norfolk District Attorney William Keating ordered the inquest to investigate whether Bishop intentionally shot her brother.

The shooting was ruled an accident. The judge's report could potentially be used to pursue a murder indictment against Bishop.

24 government witnesses will be called to testify during the inquest.

A retired Braintree police officer who testified at an inquest into Amy Bishop's 1986 fatal shooting of her teenage brother said her parents also have appeared.

Kenneth Brady said he escorted Judith Bishop to the hospital and police station the day her son died.

Brady said the Bishops were in the courtroom for about an hour early Tuesday before leaving. They were not seen to come or go by the main entrance.

Brady would not detail his testimony. He said he feels the shooting should have been investigated more thoroughly, but he does not know if it was an accident.

Not since 2002 has the state of Massachusetts launched a judicial inquest.

Now, officials there want to know more about the death of Seth Bishop who was 18 at the time he died of a shotgun wound.

Investigators say since they have reopened the case, they have discovered it was gravely mishandled.

Seth Bishop's death is among several incidents involving Bishop Anderson that are being re-examined.

One includes when she and her husband Jim Anderson were questioned but never charged in the 1983 attempted mail bombing of a medical researcher who gave Bishop a bad job review.

In 2002, charges of assault and disorderly conduct were dropped after a fight over a child booster seat in a restaurant.

Bishop's attorney, Roy Miller said these allegations will have to be looked into before the current case goes forward.

Quincy District Judge Mark Coven will conduct the closed-door inquest and report his findings to the district attorney, who would then decide whether to issue an indictment.

The only possible charge that could be filed is murder because the statue of limitations on all other counts, including manslaughter, has run out.

©2010 WAFF. All rights reserved. AP contributed to this report.