May 25th, 2010
11:08 PM ET

Judge completes inquest into death of Amy Bishop's brother

A Massachusetts judge has finalized an inquest into the shooting death of the brother of Amy Bishop, the former Alabama university professor accused of killing three colleagues.

Authorities in Braintree, Massachusetts, ruled Seth Bishop's 1986 death an accident after interviewing his parents and older sister. Then 20, Amy Bishop told investigators that she was asking her brother how to unload bullets from her father's shotgun when it accidentally discharged, shooting him in the chest in her parents' kitchen.

His death came under renewed scrutiny after Amy Bishop was arrested in February in a shooting rampage at a biology faculty meeting at the University of Alabama-Huntsville, leading Norfolk District Attorney William Keating to call for the closed-door hearing.

The triple slaying prompted authorities in Braintree to locate missing investigative reports related to his death.

The judge presiding over the inquest heard from 19 witnesses over three days, the Boston Globe reported, including several police officers who worked the case. Outside the courthouse, one of the officers told reporters that he believed the investigation was not handled properly and that Amy Bishop should have been charged.

Under Massachusetts law, inquests are invoked in cases of suspicious deaths so a judge can gather facts to determine the "material circumstances attending the death" and whether an "unlawful act or negligence" of someone else contributed to it. In a report on his findings, the judge can recommend charges to the district attorney, who can present the report to a grand jury to seek an indictment.

District Court Judge Mark Coven's report on the inquest was finalized Tuesday and submitted to Norfolk Superior Court, court spokeswoman Joan Kenney said. The report and documents related to the inquest will be impounded until the conclusion of the case, which could be the end of a trial or the district attorney's decision to not lay charges, according to Massachusetts law.

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soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. Mike in Montana

    She is no more than a "cold blooded murderer" and deserves the death penalty. Mike in Montana

    May 31, 2010 at 6:21 am | Report abuse |
  2. Kevin in Huntsville AL

    the bro. incident may or maynot come to justice, but how dare you even stick up for the slightist infraction this murderer did. She knowingly brought the gun to the meeting and in her mind she knew what the verdict was,going to be this was her last chance to get even, 3 lives to her evil one has no compromise in my court, death penaty!!!

    May 31, 2010 at 8:54 am | Report abuse |
  3. Ozzi

    The court will protect the investigators in Braintree and close the case.

    But since Bishop has murdered the professors in Alabama, that case will take presidence for her conviction. Hopefully, she will be executed as she has proven herself to be a danger to the community and incapable of rehabilitation.

    Her family are monsters with no conscience and have passed those values along. Same thing can be said of the state of Massachusetts.

    May 31, 2010 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  4. vivian

    She argued with her brother and just happened to fire it just as she was pointing it at his chest, coincidence? I don't think so. Now she has convinced herself she is innocent of killing three colleagues. The human brain is amazing, espcecially its ability to prove black is white.
    Viviano – psychotherapist

    May 31, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Eddy

    The electric chair very slowly bring the switch up!!.but now the stupid human rights organazation is going to says that she is a woman with so n so children n should be spare. oh! n forget about the rights of the three person she killed their life is not worth anything.

    May 31, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Eddy

    n so many damn appeal. learn a little from china n iran

    May 31, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. sailor mike

    Make her the next secutary of defence at least she knows how to kill.

    May 31, 2010 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
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