Amy Bishop, the ex-professor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville that shot and killed three of her colleagues during a faculty meeting two years ago, wounding three others, has pleaded guilty to some of the charges, including capital murder involving two or more people and attempted murder. Her defense had been insanity prior to that.
The plea agreement came in exchange for a recommendation from the prosecutor for life in prison without parole, as well as attempted murder. Madison County Circuit Court Judge Alan Mann will hear arguments and pass down the sentencing. Of course, the actual sentence is up to the judge, even though the recommendation of the prosecutor is followed in nearly all cases. Alabama does have a death penalty and has executed 34 people since 1976.
Bishop walked into a faculty meeting on February 12, 2012 and pulled a gun out of her purse, and then fired at those attending. She was a Harvard graduate and professor of Biology at Alabama U. The original defense was insanity, and it seems that this is closer to the truth than outright hate or anger. The woman obviously had mental problems to think that shooting a bunch of her colleagues would make her happy.
However, now police are investigating Bishop for another shooting because of the current charges. Charges have been filed over a 1986 shooting of her 18-year-old brother, Seth Bishop. The case was originally thought to be an accident, but now investigators aren't so sure.
The shooting was apparently due to the University's refusal to grant Amy Bishop tenure, which meant that her job was basically over at that school. She killed her boss, the Biology Department Chair Gopi Padila, and professors Maria Ragland Davis and Adriel Johnson. Three others were wounded but survived. Debra Moriarity, who was in attendance at the faculty meeting, and has now taken over the job of Podila said, "I'm glad it's a recognition of the crimes she committed and not trying to get out of something through claiming a mental defect," she said. Bishop also tried to shoot her, but the gun failed to fire.
Photo: By Fasdfs (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Gabriel Legend covers a wide range of breaking news for Gather. He writes fiction as well, with his first novel coming out in 2013. You can follow on Twitter at @GabrielLegend1 or contact him directly here.