The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Marriages and Divorces

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
Marriages and Divorces
Poll

What is your favorite Easter candy?

Chocolate bunnies
Marshmallow chicks
Chocolate eggs with filling
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
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