The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

February 1, 2013

BREAKING: DA will not seek death penalty in Moyers case

ATHENS — The Limestone County District Attorney's Office will not seek the death penalty in the case against a Cullman man accused of fatally shooting an Athens man with an AK-47 because he thought he seemed suspicious.

District Attorney Brian Jones told The News Courier today he filed a motion about 4 p.m. Thursday in Circuit Court stating his decision to seek life in prison but not the death penalty in the case against Joel Patrick Moyers.

Moyers, 52, is charged with capital murder, murder extreme indifference, and two counts of shooting into an occupied vehicle in connection with the Sept. 29 shooting of 26-year-old Brandon Hydrick.

Jones said the statue relating to seeking the death penalty requires a standard of murder that is "heinous, atrocious and cruel"

"Every murder is brutal," he said. "Every murder is a terrible act. But, when you compare them, some rise to the legal standard and some do not," he said.

Jones said he met with the Hydrick family before making the decision and they were "okay with it."

If Moyers is convicted of capital murder — which is murder committed in the commission of another felony — he would be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The shooting

Brandon and his younger brother, Ryan, had been at a bonfire and marshmallow roast in the area with friends the morning of the shooting. While returning home, the brothers became lost and stopped on Fennell Lane. Moyers, who was living on Fennel Road in a mobile home owned by his mother at the time and believed the brothers were would-be criminals, walked to the area with his AK-47 and a flashlight. When Ryan drove past Moyers on Fennel Road and would not stop, Moyers fired what he called "a warning shot,"  which struck the tailgate and pierced the cab, killing Brandon.

1
Text Only
Local News
Poll

A recent national telephone survey found 75 percent of respondents believe the sale and use of pot will eventually be legal nationwide. Do you think marijuana should be legal in Alabama?

Yes
No
No, but I don’t think pot smokers should go to jail
Yes, but only for medical use
Yes, but only for personal adult use
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge US Supports Ukraine's Efforts to Calm Tensions Suspect in Kansas Shootings Faces Murder Charges Ukraine: Military Recaptures Eastern Airport Raw: Storm Topples RVs Near Miss. Gulf Coast NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse Pistorius Cries During Final Cross-Examination The Boston Marathon Bombing: One Year Later Michael Phelps Set to Come Out of Retirement First Women Move to Army Platoon Artillery Jobs Sex Offenders Charged in Serial Killings Police: Woman Stored Dead Babies in Garage OC Serial Murder Suspects May Have More Victims Family: 2 Shot in Head at Kan. Jewish Center Raw: Horse Jumping Inspires 'Bunny Hop' After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida Popular Science Honors Year's Top Inventions ND Oil Boom Attracting Drug Traffickers
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee