The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

December 20, 2013

UPDATE: Moyers released on $275K bail

Appeals court grants request for bail in capital murder case

By Jean Cole

ATHENS — A Cullman man accused of capital murder in the 2012 fatal shooting of Brandon Hydrick of Athens is free on bail from the Limestone County Jail. A bail bonding company, the name of which the jail was not at liberty to disclose, posted a $275,000 bail for Joel Moyers about 4:20 p.m. Friday.

Earlier in the day, the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals had granted Moyers' request for bail to be set in his case. Limestone County Circuit Judge James Woodroof Jr. then set bail.

Although the family and friends of the victim opposed the release of Moyers, who had been denied bail after a grand jury upgraded his charge from murder to capital murder last December, the appeals court ruled.

The court said that although Moyers is charged with capital murder, which typically results in denial of bail, he is entitled to bail in this case because the state has said it will not seek the death penalty. Had the state sought the death penalty, the no-bail order would have been upheld.

Brandon, 26, and his brother Ryan, who was 25 at the time, were driving home in the early morning hours of Sept. 29 — following a bonfire and marshmallow roast — when Ryan became lost in the area of Fennell Road. Moyers, who lived in a mobile home in the area, thought the Hydricks' truck looked suspicious, grabbed his semiautomatic rifle and flashlight and went to investigate. Moyers tried to flag down and stop the vehicle but Ryan, frightened and seeing Moyers had a weapon, continued past him. Moyers fired a shot that hit Brandon, who died at the scene.