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Retired HPD chief releases video in support of former officer convicted of murder Darby

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – A new video posted to Instagram shows retired Huntsville Police (HPD) Chief Mark McMurray expressing his support for William “Ben” Darby, a former HPD officer convicted of murder.

The video shows McMurray giving his support to Darby, who shot and killed Jeffery Parker, 49, as he sat at his home on Deramus Avenue with a gun to his head in 2018.

“I’m retired Huntsville Police Chief Mark McMurray and stand by former Huntsville Police Officer William ‘Ben’ Darby,” McMurray says in the video. In the video, McMurray wears an embroidered Huntsville Police Department shirt.

News 19 has contacted the city of Huntsville for comment.

During the trial, Darby’s defense attorney, Robert Tuten, argued that his client “acted in a manner he deemed appropriate” and called the incident a “police action” which resulted in put the other officers out of danger. Darby was later sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Darby appealed the conviction to the Alabama Court of Appeals. He cites two issues there, the first being that viewers, including the media, saw his trial via a live video stream rather than in person due to COVID-19 restrictions. The second asks the court to consider its objections to Circuit Judge Donna Pate’s rejection of certain jury instructions.

Mr. Darby’s conviction should be overturned as the great weight of evidence has led to the conclusion that Mr. Darby properly acted in self-defense during the events in question,” the defense argued.

The video was posted on social media by The Resiliency Project. The group states that its mission is to “end the silent suffering of our country’s first responders by providing peer support and funding for treatment, recovery and psychological services in an effort to address post-stress stress. trauma, build resilience and end suicide”.

Jail records show Darby remains at the Limestone Correctional Facility in Harvest.


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