Amy Bishop sat quietly during her trial on Sept. 23.

Archived Story

Amy Bishop begins life sentence

Published 10:16am Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Amy Bishop was booked into the Tutwiler Prison for Women in Wetumpka on Sept. 25.

She is booked as Amy Bishop Anderson, her married name.

Bishop, 47, was convicted Monday for murdering three people and attempting to murder three others at a University of Alabama in Huntsville faculty meeting in February 2010, a few months after being denied tenure at UAH.

She received life in prison without the possibility of parole for capital murder of two or more people and three consecutive life sentences for attempted murder charges.

Bishop entered a guilty plea on Sept. 11, allowing her to avoid the death penalty.

Madison County District Attorney Rob Broussard speaking at the press conference following Bishop's trial.

Madison County District Attorney Rob Broussard said some of the families of the victims oppose the death penalty. Immediately following the trial, Broussard said if he had sought the death penalty it would have been “the ultimate arrogance on my part.”

Alabama law requires a jury to hear all capital murder cases, even if defendant pleads guilty.

Only two people testified during the trial, eye-witness Dr. Debra Moriarity and Huntsville Police Department Investigator Charlie Gray.

Moriarity testified first. She said before the shooting she and Bishop “were good colleagues and talked to each other about things going on in our families.”

When Bishop was denied tenure, Moriarity said Bishop was very distraught. Moriarity said Bishop told her once during a moment of panic she was going to commit suicide, but Bishop never brought up the matter again.

After Bishop’s rejection for tenure was finalized, Moriarity said Bishop told her, “No matter where I end up, I still want to write that grant proposal with you.”

The two had been planning to do research together, and Moriarity said she told Bishop, “Yes, absolutely. I still want to write that proposal.”

The shooting happened 50 minutes into the Friday faculty meeting on Feb. 12, 2010.

Moriarity took cover under the table and tried to pull Bishop down by grabbing her legs. Moriarity said she yelled, “Stop. Don’t do this. I’ve helped you before. I’ll help you again.”

Bishop then pointed a Ruger 9 mm pistol at Moriarity and pulled the trigger, but the gun jammed. Moriarity said her her multiple clicks from the gun as Bishop tired to shoot her.

Moriarity said Bishop followed her out into the hallway, then she threw herself back in the room and shut the door. Dr. Robert Lawton then locked the door.

Bishop killed the first three people she shot, Dr. Gopi Podila, Dr. Maria Davis and Dr. Adriel Johnson. She also wounded Dr. Joseph Leahy, Stephanie Monticciolo and Dr. Luis Cruz-Vera.

Crime scene photos were shown during Gray’s testimony, including photos of the deceased.

Bishop had her head down on the table while the photos were being shown. Madison Mayor Sandy Kirkindall sat on the jury. The jury chose him as foreman, and he announced the guilty verdict.

Before Circuit Judge Alan Mann sentenced Bishop, Bishop’s attorney Roy Miller spoke on her behalf, but Bishop did not speak herself.

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