Amy Bishop Anderson Attorney: Court failed to inform defendant - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

UAH shooter attorney: Court failed to inform defendant of all options during plea

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

An attorney for UAH shooter Amy Bishop Anderson filed an appellant's brief with the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals. The court received the documents at 8:20 p.m. on February 11, the deadline for the brief.

Amy Bishop Anderson, a former biology professor, shot six people during a biology department meeting at UAH on February 12, 2010. Three of the victims died. All six victims were members of the university's biology department.

On September 11, 2012 Bishop Anderson pleaded guilty to three counts of attempted murder and one count of capital murder. In compliance with Alabama law, the capital murder charge went before a jury. That jury convicted Bishop Anderson of capital murder and sentenced her to life in prison.

Days after the capital murder conviction, Bishop Anderson notified the court of her intent to appeal. Her trial attorneys also filed a motion for withdraw from the case. The court appointed attorney Ronald W. Smith to take over Bishop Anderson's case.

The 38 page appellant's brief focuses on Bishop Anderson's plea hearing, arguing:

"Appellant's pleas to one count of capital murder and three counts of attempted murder were not made knowingly and voluntarily when the trial court did not comply with the Alabama Rule of Criminal Procedure 14.4"

The brief states the court did not give Bishop Anderson "accurate and complete information at the plea bargain stage". The appeal states the court gave Bishop Anderson incorrect information about the minimum punishment for three counts of attempted murder.

The brief also states the court did not explain and make sure Bishop Anderson understood that she had a right to appeal, was waiving her right to appeal, and had the right to withdraw her motion for guilty plea.

The appeal states Bishop Anderson was not asked if she had any objections to her defense team or the way they handled her case.

Finally, the appeal states that the plea form explained that Bishop Anderson was waiving her right to a jury trial. The appeal states Bishop Anderson could not waive her right to a trial on the capital murder charge.

The Alabama Criminal Court of Appeals has not indicated when they will rule on this case. 

Amy Bishop Anderson is currently in Tutwiler Prison.

Copyright 2013 WAFF. All rights reserved.

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