HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — A prosecutor says a jailhouse telephone call recording casts doubt on a former professor's longstanding claim that she didn't recall the 2010 shooting that left three people dead at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
In the recording, Amy Bishop indicated to her husband that she remembered at least one thing after she shot six colleagues and seemed mentally stable, Madison County District Attorney Rob Broussard told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
Bishop, 47, pleaded guilty to murder and is now serving life without parole in state prison.
Hours after her arrest and immediately after a lengthy police interrogation in which Bishop told officers she didn't recall anything about the shooting, Broussard said, Bishop got on the phone with her husband, James Anderson. The conversation was recorded by the monitoring system at the Madison County Jail.
"The first words out his mouth were, 'Holy crap. What's up, Doc?'" Broussard said.
"She starts into him with these businesslike orders about how to handle her defense — 'Don't spend any money, I'm going to get a court-appointed attorney,'" Broussard quoted Bishop as saying on the recording, which hasn't been publicly disclosed before.
Evidence showed Bishop telephoned Anderson after opening fire during a faculty meeting and asked him to pick her up at work; Anderson arrived around the same time as police, an investigator said. In the call, Broussard said, Anderson told Bishop he'd never forget seeing images of her being arrested outside the classroom building where six people were shot, three fatally.
"She said, 'I didn't see you anywhere,'" Broussard said.
Broussard said Bishop's statement indicated that she recalled the events of the day and was only feigning forgetfulness.
"She remembered not seeing him," said the prosecutor.
Defense lawyer Roy Miller said Bishop maintains she doesn't remember the shooting despite anything she might have said in the recorded conversation. Testing found Bishop had mental disorders and tendencies toward schizophrenia, he said, although it would have been tough to win her acquittal using an insanity defense.
The prosecutor said testing at a state mental facility found Bishop had "personality disorders," but it found nothing upon which to base an insanity defense.
Broussard said he would have used the recorded telephone conversation in court had Bishop gone to trial, but Bishop pleaded guilty in a deal that allowed her to avoid the death penalty. A jury reviewed the evidence and found her guilty during an abbreviated trial Monday.
Authorities have yet to say whether Bishop will stand trial on a murder charge in Massachusetts, where she is charged in the shotgun killing of her teenage brother Seth in their suburban Boston home in 1986. The slaying was initially ruled accidental, but authorities reviewed it again and filed charges after the Alabama shooting.