Huntsville City Council votes to pay indicted police officer's legal expenses

Huntsville City Council votes to pay indicted police officer's legal expenses

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - On Thursday night, the Huntsville City Council voted to pay the legal expenses of officer William Darby.

The Council voted 4-0 with Will Culver of District 5 abstaining.

The Council did not review body camera video or see any of the evidence before making this decision.

A grand jury indicted Darby for murder in the shooting death of Jeffrey Parker on April 3. Darby and two other officers responded to Parker's home on a suicide call.

An incident review board cleared all three officers of any wrongdoing before the Madison County district attorney's office presented it to the grand jury.

Darby is currently on administrative duty.


His trial is scheduled for Oct. 29.

If Darby's defense needs more than $75,000 the Council will then have to take another vote to decide to give him more taxpayer money.

Councilman Bill Kline of District 4 said this isn't the first time the Council has done this for a city employee.

"We've had other city employees who have had situations come up and we have paid their legal fees when it is in the line of duty and this is certainly part of city time. Keep in mind when a police officer goes to work in the morning there is a chance that he or she might not come home alive that night," said Kline. "They put their life on the line and they have to make split-second decisions and this is a tough split-second decision that officer Darby had to make."

Kling also wants the body camera video to be released to the public once the case is over.

Criminal defense lawyer Mark McDaniel said anything could happen, but $75,000 is "very reasonable."  He said the experience and professionalism of the lawyers and judge involved will make the case run quickly and smoothly.

He said the nature of the evidence available also lends itself to a quicker trial.

"This is not going to be a difficult case, in that, the evidence is going to be the body cams. That's going to be the key part of this case. So beyond that, it's not going to be a case with a lot of  DNA testimony, and forensic testimony," he said.

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