Judge sends Alabama prof's shooting case to grand jury
Huntsville, Alabama (CNN) -- A judge has found enough evidence to send the capital murder case against former university professor Amy Bishop to the grand jury.
District Judge Ruth Ann Hall found after a brief hearing Tuesday that there is probable cause that Amy Bishop committed the crimes she is accused of -- capital murder and attempted murder.
Bishop, a Harvard-trained geneticist, is accused of gunning down her colleagues at a February 12 faculty meeting on the University of Alabama campus in Huntsville.
Dressed in a red jail jumpsuit, her wrists and ankles bound in chains, Bishop listened impassively to the testimony, occasionally shifting her glance from the investigator to the prosecutor.
"I wasn't there. It wasn't me,"
she told police, according to testimony from Huntsville police homicide investigator Charlie Gray. He was the only witness called during the hearing, which lasted a half-hour.
Every time we asked her a question about the shooting she would say 'No way, no way. I wasn't there. It wasn't me.'
Her denials aside, the biology professor appeared "calm" and "intelligent" during the interview, agreeing to waive her Miranda rights and generally giving the impression that she understood what was going on, Gray testified.
Gray noted that Bishop repeatedly challenged the reason she was being questioned.
"She wanted to know why she was there. She said she had a meeting at 4:30 to write a grant," Gray said. "She had to leave to make that meeting. She denied anything about the incident at all."
Witnesses told police that Bishop stood up about 50 minutes into a biology faculty meeting and opened fire, shooting three people sitting closest to her in the head, Gray testified. They died at the scene.
She shot two others in the head and another in the collarbone before fleeing the room, the investigator testified.
Police also found a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol stuffed into a trash can in the second-floor women's bathroom underneath tissues and a women's jacket that had traces of the victims' blood on it, Gray said. The jacket was later identified as belonging to Bishop, he said.
Under Alabama law, the case now will go to a grand jury.
The university identified the dead as Gopi Podila, chairman of the biological sciences department; Maria Davis, associate professor of biology; and Adriel Johnson, associate professor of biology. Three other people were wounded.
In the wake of the shootings, information came to light about Bishop's previous run-ins with the law. She faced criminal charges after an altercation at a Massachusetts restaurant nearly eight years ago, police said.
The police report says Bishop became furious that there was no booster seat available for her child, began screaming at the woman who had taken the last one and struck her in the head.
Authorities in Bishop's hometown of Braintree, Massachusetts, are also looking into the shooting death of her brother, Seth, in 1986. Bishop, then 20, said she accidentally shot her brother in the family's kitchen as she was trying to unload a shotgun, according to police reports.
In addition, The Boston Globe has also reported that Bishop and her husband, Jim Anderson, were questioned in the 1993 attempted mail bombing of a Harvard Medical School professor.
Under Alabama law, Bishop could face the death penalty if she is convicted of capital murder[...]