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A jury in Alabama on Friday convicted Huntsville police officer William “Ben” Darby of murder in the fatal shooting of a suicidal man in 2018, AP reported.

Driving the news: Darby killed Jeffrey Parker while responding to a 911 call in which the man said he was armed and planned to kill himself. Parker was aiming a gun to his own head when Darby shot him, per AP.

  • The conviction carries a sentence of 20 years to life in prison.

Catch up quick: A city police review had previously cleared Darby of wrongdoing and he was allowed to remain a police officer, AP reported.

  • Prosecutors argued Darby killed an innocent man without cause. “He called for help and he got Ben Darby," prosecutor Tim Gann said in closing arguments.
  • The defense team said that Darby was justified in killing Parker, arguing the man posed a threat to the officers.

What they're saying: Madison County District Attorney Rob Broussard welcomed the verdict, saying the “facts bore out there was nothing justified about this encounter.”

  • Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle condemned the conviction, saying in a statement: "Fortunately, Officer Darby has the same appeal rights as any other citizen and is entitled to exercise those rights,” per AP.
  • Huntsville police chief Mark McMurray said the verdict left local police "in the first stages of shock," according to AP.
  • "I do not believe Officer Darby is a murderer," McMurry added. "Officers are forced to make split-second decisions every day, and Officer Darby believed his life and the lives of other officers were in danger."

If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (En Español: 1-888-628-9454; Deaf and Hard of Hearing: 1-800-799-4889) or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.

Go deeper

Four police officers who responded to Capitol riot have died by suicide

U.S. Capitol Police, Michael Fanone, right, looks on as U.S. Capitol Police officer Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, left, testifies before the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack. Photo: Oliver Contreras-Pool/Getty Images

Four police police officers who responded to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot have died by suicide, according to the WUSA9, a CBS affiliate in the city.

Driving the news: D.C. Metropolitan Officer Kyle DeFreytag, who served in the Fifth District and responded to the Capitol riot, was found dead on July 10. DeFreytag joined the department in 2016, per CNN.

Aug 4, 2021 - Podcasts

Officer trauma after Jan. 6

Four officers who responded to the Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6 have now died by suicide. The news of the most recent two deaths came this week. Officer Gunther Hashida, Officer Kyle DeFreytag, Officer Howie Liebengood, and Officer Jeffrey Smith were among those who fought to defend the Capitol that day.

  • Plus, we can’t just blame social media for misinformation.
  • And, lab-grown salmon is coming to a sushi bar near you.

Guests: Steve Hough, chief operating officer of First HELP, and Axios' Sara Fischer and Alayna Treene.

Credits: Axios Today is produced in partnership with Pushkin Industries. The team includes Niala Boodhoo, Sara Kehaulani Goo, Dan Bobkoff, Alexandra Botti, Nuria Marquez Martinez, Sabeena Singhani, and Alex Sugiura. Music is composed by Evan Viola. You can reach us at podcasts@axios.com. You can text questions, comments and story ideas to Niala as a text or voice memo to 202-918-4893.

Go deeper:

If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (En Español: 1-888-628-9454; Deaf and Hard of Hearing: dial 711 then 1-800-273-8255) or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.

Updated 15 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Celebrities are America's new politicians

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Launching gubernatorial bids, making presidential endorsements, founding schools: Celebrities are getting increasingly involved in U.S. public and political life.

Why it matters: As we've reported, politics is no longer just the purview of career politicians, as companies and their CEOs throw their weight around to affect policies. Now, movie stars, famous musicians and professional athletes also are using their influence in politics.