The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

January 22, 2013

UPDATED: Moyers pleads not guilty; D.A. must decide on death penalty

ATHENS — A Cullman man charged with capital murder in the Sept. 29 shooting death of 26-year-old Brandon Hydrick of Athens has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Joel Moyers, 52, appeared in court today with his attorneys, Dan Totten and Lucas Batey of Athens. However, Moyers did not speak during the proceeding.

Circuit Judge James Woodroof Jr. granted the defense more time to file additional motions and set a hearing for Feb. 19 on those motions. They needed more time, in part, while waiting for Limestone County District Attorney Brian Jones and Chief Deputy District Attorney Jim Ayers to decide whether to seek the death penalty in the case. The only other option in a capital murder case is life without chance of parole.

The decision by the D.A.'s office will influence the defense's strategy, Jones told The News Courier after the hearing.

"They are trying to decide whether to have their client plead not guilty due to reason of mental defect," he said, adding that the prosecutors will decide whether to seek the death penalty after studying the evidence and the statute.

In the mean time, Moyers remains held without bail in the Limestone County Jail. He had been free on bail following his arrest. After a Limestone County grand jury upgraded his charge from murder to capital murder, which is murder in the commission of another felony, a judge denied him bail.

On the night of the shooting, Moyers told investigators he fired a warning shot after seeing a truck on Fennel Lane occupied by brothers Brandon and Ryan Hydrick, who had been at a night-time outing and marshmallow roast with friends and got lost on the way home. Moyers, who was staying in a mobile home owned by his mother on Fennel Road, told officers he believed the Hydricks were would-be thieves. Investigators said Moyers fired into the tail of the truck not into the ground or into the air as he initially claimed.

1
Text Only
Local News
Photos


Poll

Do you believe America will ever make another manned flight to the moon or another planet?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques ShowBiz Minute: Hoffman, Oberst, Box Office WWII Vet Gets Medals, 70 Years Late Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong
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