Convicted Marshall Co. cop killer seeking less than life without parole

Convicted Marshall Co. cop killer seeking less than life without parole

MARSHALL COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - A convicted cop killer in Marshall County sent to death row is now wanting to get out of prison.

A U.S. Supreme Court decision is paving the way for that possibility.

James Matthew Hyde was convicted for the 1995 murder of an Albertville police officer and sent to death row.

Ten years later, the Supreme Court ruled juveniles could not be put to death. Now the High Court is questioning locking up juveniles for the rest of their lives.

Hyde made an appearance in a Marshall County courtroom Tuesday some 21 years after making his first appearance.

The latest court ruling allows for juveniles convicted of capital offenses to seek a re-sentence of less than life without parole but also allows the judge to keep the current sentence.

Hyde was convicted of the murder of Albertville police detective Andy Whitten who was gunned down at his home.

Prosecutors argued Hyde was a triggerman convicted of making a hit on Whitten who was working on a criminal case of Hyde's friend and co-defendant.

Prosecutors said they plan to argue to the judge that the life without parole sentence stand.

"We think in this case where a police officer was shot, not only in the line of duty but as a result of the work that they were performing on a case, that this is one of the circumstances that would be considered for Miller to receive the life without the possibility of parole sentence itself," said Marshall County District Attorney Steve Marshall.

Another hearing is set for July but it's unclear when Hyde's resentencing date will be.

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