Samuel Goldberg has been a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney for 20 years. Prior to that, he was a New York state prosecutor. He has published various articles regarding the practice of criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on outlets such as the Fox News Channel, Court TV, MSNBC and The BBC Network. To speak to Sam about a criminal matter call (617) 492 3000.

Amy Bishop Charged with Massachusetts First-Degree Murder in Brother’s 1986 Shooting Death

Amy Bishop, the University of Alabama-Huntsville professor charged with killing three colleagues and injuring three others on February 12, is now charged with Massachusetts first-degree murder in the 1986 shooting death of her brother Seth Bishop.

After originally finding that Bishop accidentally killed her 18-year-old brother, prosecutors reopened the case after the February incident. They now say that police back then did not share important evidence, including Bishop’s alleged attempt at stealing a car from a dealership after she shot her brother, and they are wondering why police never charged her.

At the time, Bishop told the cops that she accidentally shot Seth while attempting to unload her father’s 12-gauge shotgun. Her mother, who witnessed the incident, supported her daughter’s claim.

Investigators now say that even prior to shooting her brother, Bishop kept a newspaper clipping about the 1986 murders of TV star Patrick Duffy’s parents. A teenager had used the same type of gun to kill both of them before stealing a vehicle from an auto dealership.

John V. Polio, the Braintree police chief at the time of Seth’s shooting, said that the murder indictment does not convince him that Bishop is guilty. He says that back then there were too many unanswered questions to determine whether Bishop had intended to shoot her brother. Meantime, the Quincy, Massachusetts lawyer for Bishop’s parents says that the family maintains the tragic shooting incident was an accident and that Amy, who was very close to Seth, had no reason to kill him.

After she was indicted for her brother’s murder, Bishop tried to commit suicide. She was treated at a hospital before returning to an Alabama jail.

Bishop’s criminal defense lawyer says the latest charge against Bishop will be used in any insanity defense. Bishop is charged with capital murder and attempted murder in the Alabama University shootings.

Amy Bishop charged with murder for 1986 shooting of brother, Boston.com, June 16, 2010
Bishop lawyer says Boston case may help defense, Lake Wylie Pilot, June 16, 2010
Amy Bishop Attempts Suicide After Learning of Murder Charge in Brother’s Death, Say Sources, CBS, June 18, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Boston Ghosts Of Criminal Past Continue To Haunt Prof. Amy Bishop, Now Accused Of Murders By Firearm, Boston Criminal Lawyer, February 18, 2010
Police Report from the 1986 shooting, Boston.com
Our Boston homicide defense attorneys represent clients under investigation, accused of, or charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, manslaughter, and self-defense.

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