Notification delay surfaces in Alabama shootings

The chief prosecutor in Huntsville said he would not oppose a mental evaluation for Bishop.

“In this case as in all cases, if they want to start talking about a mental defense, then have at it. We’ll be ready when it comes to court,” said Madison County District Attorney Robert Broussard.

Miller said he expects prosecutors to seek the death penalty, but Broussard said his office hasn’t decided whether to seek Bishop’s execution or a sentence of life without parole if she is convicted.

“We’ll wait until we have every piece of evidence in front of us to decide on that,” Broussard said.

He said investigators had yet to review evidence about Bishop’s troubled past, including her fatal shooting of her younger brother in 1986. Authorities in Massachusetts ruled that shooting accidental, though State Police officials said Feb. 19 they will review their agency’s investigation.

Since the Alabama shootings, there have been questions about why Bishop did not face any charges a quarter-century ago after she fled the house after killing her brother and allegedly pointed the gun at people at a nearby car dealership.

In Bishop’s only public comments since the Alabama shooting, the professor said the shooting “didn’t happen. There’s no way.”

“What about the people who died?” a reporter asked as she was led to a police car hours after the killings.

“There’s no way. They’re still alive,” she responded.

The shooting decimated the university’s biology department: Of 14 members, six were killed or wounded, one is jailed, and the rest are dealing with the shock and loss of colleagues.

Two of those shot remained hospitalized in critical condition Feb. 19, while another who was shot in the chest has been released.

Mourners hugged and cried Feb. 18 at a memorial service for biology department chairman Gopi K. Podila. Funeral services were scheduled Feb. 19 for Adriel Johnson and Feb. 20 for Maria Ragland Davis, professors in the department who died in the gunfire.



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