Alabama Professor Shooting Case Sent to Grand Jury

By Mary Kathryn Burke

Mar 23, 2010 6:10pm

ABC News’ Sharaf Mowjood Reports: Former biology professor Amy Bishop, 45, who is accused of killing three faculty members and injuring four others three weeks ago at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, appeared in court today for a preliminary hearing.

Alabama District Judge Ruth Ann Hall found probable cause to charge Bishop with at least one count for capital murder and four counts of attempted murder and sent the case to a grand jury for a possible indictment. She is being held without bail.

Bishop has denied that she was present when the six faculty members were shot.

The preliminary hearing is a procedural step requested by the defense. The prosecution called an investigator from the police department to lay out the case against the defendant. 

The judge issued a gag order against defense lawyers, prosecutors and law enforcement officers to, saying it was necessary to ensure a fair trial.

According to police reports, Bishop was also accused of shooting and killing her brother, Seth, in 1986 but claimed that it was just an accident that occurred while she was trying to unload a shotgun. The district attorney in Massachusetts at the time ruled the death accidental, and she was not charged.

Currently Norfolk District Attorney William R. Keating has ordered a re-examination of the incident to determine whether it was, in fact, an accident.

Bishop’s attorney, Roy Miller, has said he will argue that Bishop is insane. But if she is found guilty of capital murder, she could face the death penalty.

For details of the what occurred inside the hearing click here.

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