A former Alabama police officer was convicted in May for murdering a suicidal man who called 9-11 asking for help has been sentenced to a lengthy prison sentence, The New York Times reports.
William Benjamin Darby, 28, was sentenced this Friday for the murder of Jeffrey Louis Parker, 49.
“At every turn, Mr. Darby refused to take any responsibility for what he did, and he would never admit that he did anything wrong,” Madison County chief deputy district attorney Tim Gann said Friday. “There was no remorse from him about the killing. There was no acknowledgment from him about the gravity of what he did. That was one of the most disturbing things about the case.”
“My brother would be alive today, I certainly believe that, if Pegues had stayed there and Darby never showed up,” the victim’s brother Bill Parker said on Friday, according to WAAY in Huntsville. Parker was referring to Officer Genisha Pegues, who tried to keep his brother alive by deescalating the situation before Darby arrived.
Speaking before the court on Friday, Darby said he’s haunted by Parker’s killing and sometimes wakes up in the night seeing the dead man’s face.
“There is no evil intent. There is no malice,” Darby said of his actions. “I am human. I am Christian. The taking of a human life was not lost on me.
“I’m asking for mercy. I’m asking for leniency.”
Parker’s best friend, Bill Parks, told reporters following the sentencing that Parker needed help the afternoon of April 3, 2018, when he called 911. Parker told a dispatcher that he was armed with a gun and, according to court documents related to a federal lawsuit, was “fixing to blow his brains out.”
Pegues and Beckles, who arrived several minutes before Darby, had the situation under control as they tried to talk Parker into surrendering his gun, Parks said.
Darby arrived at the home and, within seconds, he had shot Parker in the face with a shotgun.
The fatal shooting was recorded by all three officers’ body-worn cameras. City officials were lambasted by their critics, as well as local news media, when they refused to release the footage to the public.
The weapon parker was pointing at his own head when police arrived at this house was later determined to be a flare gun that had been painted black. The flare had been removed from its cartridge and replaced with buckshot.