HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Huntsville Police Officer William Darby’s sentencing hearing for his murder conviction is set for Aug. 20, according to court records.
Darby’s hearing is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. that day in Madison County Circuit Court Judge Donna Pate’s courtroom.
In setting the date, Pate pointed out the prosecutor in Darby’s trial has an upcoming death penalty trial, and Darby’s attorney is preparing for an ethics trial for Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely, making Aug. 20 the earliest possible date.
Darby could face 20 years to life in prison for the April 2018 shooting death of Jeffery Parker, who was shot and killed in his home on Deramus Avenue.
Parker called 911 and said he planned to kill himself. He was holding a gun to his head and talking with two other Huntsville police officers when Darby arrived. Darby shot and killed Parker with a shotgun shortly after he arrived at the home.
Prosecutors said during his trial that Parker did not pose a threat, and Darby was the aggressor in the confrontation. Darby’s attorneys argued that he was forced to make a split-second decision and relied on his training.
Darby’s currently on leave from his job. His attorney has said he plans to appeal the conviction, and he is out of jail on bond while awaiting sentencing.