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Defense Attorney Collapses While Delivering Closing Arguments In Murder Trial

An already tense atmosphere in an Alabama courtroom got all the more rigid in shocking fashion. Closing arguments were being heard for a murder trial that revolved around a man that had been accused of killing a 77-year-old retired corrections officer.

Defense attorney Jean Darby, 64, was summarizing the case for the jury when she suddenly collapsed. Darby was remarking how exhausting the trial must have been for the jury, and she dropped an aside of how tiring it had been for her as well.

All of a sudden, she grabbed onto the jury box before collapsing to the floor. A plainclothes police officer leaped into action and began administering CPR. Paramedics were soon en route, and Darby was rushed to the hospital in serious condition.

As the Daily Mail shares, she would pass away the following Saturday.

Despite the frightening scene, the show must go on - so to speak - and Judge Gil Self allowed the case to move forward with replacement attorneys. He understood that the jury must’ve been pretty shaken up by the stunning scene, but he reminded them to solely focus on the facts of the case while rendering a decision.

“Now, I need to know from each of you, can you put aside and proceed with the remainder of the trial?” he said. “Can you call it down the middle, set aside sympathy and only apply the law to the facts in the case?”

As for the case itself, Alfonso Jarmon stood accused of fatally shooting 77-year-old Charles Hugh Perkins back in 2016. The men were neighbors, and three eyewitnesses explained that they saw Jarmon shove the elderly man, grab him by the hand, and then brandish a gun that he used to shoot the victim in the head.

The jury didn’t need all that much time to come to a conclusion. After a little over 30 minutes, they would return with a guilty verdict.

Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly notes that the case was pretty trying due to the unfortunate circumstances, but he’s pleased that justice has been served.

“It’s sad what has happened to Ms. Darby and our prayers and thoughts are with Jean and her family. But the jury wanted to complete their task, and I commend them for putting everything behind them and moving forward,” Connolly said. “They (jurors) looked at the evidence and came up with the guilty verdict. (What he did) was a senseless murder. He’s a danger to society and needs to be taken off the streets.”

Jarmon is facing between 10 years and life behind bars, and he’s due to be sentenced in December. There’s no clarity on what the actual sentence will be, but we’ll keep our fingers crossed that it’s on the latter end of the spectrum.

As for Darby, those closest to her have noted that she was quite passionate about her work, and she cared deeply about making sure everyone received a fair trial. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family, friends, and loved ones.

Source: Daily Mail
Photos: WHNT, Florence Police Department, RocketCityNow, Lauderdale County District Attorney’s Office, Patrick Feller/Flickr

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