The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

October 23, 2013

Moyers enters not guilty plea

From staff reports
The News Courier

— Joel Moyers, accused of firing into a truck and killing an Athens man in 2012, pleaded not guilty at an arraignment hearing Wednesday morning. His capital murder trial is scheduled for Dec. 27.

Moyers, 53, is accused of fatally shooting Brandon Hydrick, 26, as he rode in the truck of his brother, Ryan, in the early morning hours of Sept. 29, 2012. The brothers had been at a bonfire and marshmallow roast in southern Limestone County and were heading home when they became lost and had stopped in the area of Fennell Road.

The bullet went through the cab of the truck, striking Hydrick in the back. He died at the scene.

Moyers, who was staying in a mobile home on Fennell Road owned by his mother, told officers the Hydricks’ vehicle looked suspicious, so he got his gun and went to investigate. When the driver failed to stop for Moyers, he told authorities he fired “a warning shot,” which pierced the cab and killed Brandon.

Moyers was first indicted on capital murder in December 2012. However, Moyers’ defense attorney, Dan Totten, later argued the state’s omission of the word “intentional” in the charge made it insufficient to support a conviction.

The district attorney amended the charge to include the word “intentional,” and Moyers was indicted on the new charge in June.