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Michael Price

Biologist Amy Bishop Pleads Guilty to Murder, Receives Life Sentence

Amy Bishop, formerly a biologist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, pleaded guilty today in a Huntsville court to one count of capital murder and three counts of attempted murder in the on-campus shooting deaths of three of her biology department faculty colleagues in February 2010. Under the conditions of the plea, Bishop will not be eligible for the death penalty and will accept being sentenced to life in prison, according to reporting by The Huntsville Times.

The university had denied Bishop tenure in 2009, and she had recently exhausted the appeals process at the time of the shooting, The Huntsville Times says. Police reports indicate that Bishop brought a pistol to a faculty meeting and opened fire on her colleagues. Killed were fellow biologists Maria Ragland Davis, Adriel Johnson, and department chair Gopi Podila. In addition, biologists Joseph Leahy and Luis Cruz-Vera were injured, as was lab assistant Stephanie Monticciolo.
A jury is expected to hear a condensed version of the case later this month–as required by Alabama state law–after which she will be formally sentenced. Stay tuned for further details.