News from the Tennessee Valley State, Local and National news
FRIDAY, MAY 11, 2007

No death penalty in Huntsville man's murder trial

HUNTSVILLE (AP) — Prosecutors won't seek the death penalty against a Huntsville man charged with capital murder in the death of a former college professor.

Terry Lee Kelly's trial in the shooting death of Jack Dempsey is scheduled to begin with jury selection June 11.

"After talking with the family of the victim and defense attorneys of the defendant, we have decided not to seek the death penalty," Deputy District Attorney Robert Broussard said.

During a motion hearing Wednesday, defense attorneys asked Circuit Judge Karen Hall to consider moving the trial out of Madison County because of publicity about the murder.

Hall said she'll rule on the motion after she determines if the jury pool has been tainted by exposure to news accounts about Dempsey's murder.

Prosecutors will try to prove that Kelly, 41, shot Dempsey, a longtime art professor at The University of Alabama in Huntsville, when he and Shonda Jean Moody, 36, broke into Dempsey's home Oct. 12, 2003. A Madison County sheriff's deputy said in a court hearing two years ago that Kelly and Moody were looking for money to buy crack cocaine. Both are also charged with first-degree theft.

After the shooting, Kelly and Moody fled in Dempsey's pickup, prosecutors say. They were arrested after overturning the truck near Monroe, La.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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