Prominent defense attorney Bruce Gardner speaks on Shipp

Prominent defense attorney Bruce Gardner speaks on Shipp

Defending a man accused of killing a police officer is a hard task.

Kenneth Ship, the accused killer of Huntsville Police Officer Eric Freeman, he has no lawyer as of now, but it's not to say he'll have one in less than two weeks.

Friday, WAFF 48's Robyn McGlohn spoke with defense attorney, Bruce Gardner, who is currently defending two men accused of killing police officers.

He gives us insight into what's next for Kenneth Ship.

It's a decision soon to be made by a Madison County judge, who will be Kenneth Shipp's attorney?

"I think it would be vital for him to have council now," says Bruce Gardner.

Gardner is a defense attorney in Huntsville currently representing two men charged with killing police officers.

Benito Alberran, the accused in the Officer Daniel Golden murder, and Brian Butler who allegedly shot Grant Police Chief Verlon Lemaster.

Gardner's not representing Shipp, but he gave us insight into the mind of a killer.

"What is his mental state right now?"

"I'm sure that Mr. Shipp is experiencing tremendous feelings of remorse."

We learned this week Shipp is in jail on heavy medication and on suicide watch.

Despite that, Gardner believes Shipp needs urgent representation.

"Being a capitol murder case he should have on board mental health professionals, private investigators to help him build his case not only with respect with guilt phase, but most importantly the sentencing phase of his trial that will ultimately happen."

Gardner says Shipp's background may help his chances in court.

Shipp has no criminal history, and is employed at Redstone Arsenal.

Although he suffers from significant depression and has experienced personal tragedy, his future lawyers could argue for a not-guilty by reason of mental defect.

"I would want a forensic psychiatric examination of him if I were defending him immediately," Gardner says.

As for a plea deal like in the Farron Barksdale case, Gardner says it's a rare offer for prosecutors.

"With the killing of a police officer, I just don't see it, I think the state will push very hard to see if he gets the death sentence."

It will be announced January second if Kenneth Shipp will be allowed a court appointed attorney.

Stay with us, we'll have the latest developments.