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Day 3: Former Huntsville police officer takes stand in his own murder trial

Updated: May. 5, 2021 at 7:17 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Closing arguments will begin Thursday morning in the murder trial of Huntsville police officer, William Darby.

Darby took the stand in his own defense Wednesday explaining why he shot and killed 49-year-old Jeffery Parker.

In 2018, Parker called 911 saying he was suicidal. Darby told the jury he was following his training when he shot Parker. Darby believes his fellow officers were in danger and adds Parker did not respond to his orders to drop the gun.

WAFF was in the courtroom on Wednesday when we heard from eight other defense witnesses.

Most of them spoke on police training, department policies, and reaction time during crisis scenarios. Darby was the third officer to arrive at the scene when he entered the home, shouted commands, and shot Parker with a shotgun. Huntsville Police Captain Dewayne McCarver said Darby followed all department protocols and training during this encounter.

The prosecution argued Darby acted out of line, never asked his senior officers on scene what was going on, and unnecessarily escalated the situation. Darby told the jury he was running out of time to protect himself and the other officers because they were in direct line of fire to Parker’s gun.

Body camera footage shows Darby on the scene for 25 seconds before shooting Parker.

Closing arguments will take place Thursday morning.

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