The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

February 8, 2013

No bond decision for accused murderer Moyers

By Jean Cole

— The attorney representing accused murderer Joel Moyers has asked for bail to be set for his client, but there is no ruling yet.

Dan Totten of Athens filed a motion Feb. 4 asking a Limestone County Circuit judge to set a $260,000 bail for Moyers.

Moyer, of Cullman, is accused of fatally shooting Brandon Hydrick, 26, of Athens, on Sept. 29, 2012. Hydrick and his brother, Ryan, 25, also of Athens, were driving home after a late-night bonfire and marshmallow roast with friends when they became lost in the area of Fennell Road. Moyers, who was living in a mobile home on Fennell Road at the time, thought their vehicle looked suspicious after it stopped on Fennell Lane. He grabbed his assault rifle and a flashlight and went to investigate. He tried to flag down the vehicle as it headed past him on Fennell Road, but Ryan, the driver, did not stop. Moyers told investigators he fired “a warning shot,” but that shot struck the rear of the Hydricks’ truck, pierced the cab and killed Brandon.

Though Moyers was initially charged with murder in the case and released after posting bail, his charge was later upgraded to capital murder following indictment by a grand jury, and his bail was revoked.

Since then, Limestone County District Attorney Brian Jones has decided to seek life in prison and not the death penalty in the case. Jones said the statue relating to seeking the death penalty requires a standard of murder that is “heinous, atrocious and cruel.”  Under Alabama law, the penalty for conviction of capital murder is death or life in prison without possibility of parole. Because the death penalty is no longer on the table, Totten is asking that bail be reset.

A Feb. 19 hearing has been set to hear motions in the case.