HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — A judge sentenced a former Alabama police officer to 25 years in prison Friday for the shooting death of a suicidal man who was holding a gun to his own head.
Former Huntsville police officer William “Ben” Darby was convicted in May of killing Jeffrey Parker in 2018. Darby shot Parker while responding to a call after the man phoned 911 saying he was armed and planned to kill himself.
Darby and others pleaded for leniency, saying there was no evil intent when he pulled the trigger. Prosecutors argued during the sentencing hearing that Darby’s lack of willingness to admit wrongdoing and the “gravity of what he did to Jeffery Parker” deserved a long sentence, news outlets reported.
“Jeff was in a mental state. Jeff had issues. Jeff asked for help,” Bill Parks, Jeff Parker’s friend, told reporters after the sentencing. Parks said another officer had the situation under control until Darby entered and shot Parker within seconds.