BOSTON (AP) — A former Boston-area woman’s parents testified in a closed inquest two years ago that she accidentally shot her brother to death in their home in 1986, court records show.

In a redacted transcript obtained by The Boston Globe, Amy Bishop’s father said a burglary the year before had traumatized his daughter and that the resulting fear contributed to the shooting.

Bishop was indicted in the murder of her brother Seth Bishop in June 2010, after she was charged with opening fire on co-workers at the University of Alabama in Huntsville in February 2010. Three people there were killed and three others wounded.

The former university professor has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to charges of capital murder and attempted murder. Prosecutors say they intend to seek the death penalty.

The Globe successfully challenged a judge’s decision to keep the inquest records sealed, saying the documents could shed light on why authorities didn’t originally prosecute Bishop.

Her mother, Judith, recalled that her 21-year-old daughter and 18-year-old son had been putting away groceries in the kitchen, the Globe reported Tuesday. Amy Bishop brought the 12-gauge shotgun in and asked for help unloading it, Judith Bishop said. As her son reached for the weapon it discharged, the mother testified. She said her daughter did not have her hand on the trigger,

Amy Bishop’s father, Samuel, testified that his daughter’s “total intent was to disarm that weapon.” He said the shotgun belonged to his son and that Amy Bishop never showed interest in it.

Samuel Bishop said his daughter had been alone in their Victorian house in Braintree, Mass., for more than two hours that day and that she had the shotgun with her. He said she was afraid.

The 1986 shooting had been ruled an accident. After the university shootings, an inquest was sought. That led to Amy Bishop’s indictment for the killing of her brother.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

Comments (5)
  1. blackbear1 says:

    I doubt every word here. This girl’s past reaction to the above situation; trying to steal a car at gunpoint, having a standoff wPolice and refusing to give it up. Also the interviews given by the retired Police Chief when this story first broke. He should have handed the microphone back and not spoken. His officers were reported to be in great disagreement with his handling of this. Sorry but too much of a bad pattern here.

  2. fred says:

    didn’t the original report say the gun discharged more than once. i guess she accidently sent an explosive to her former boss/professor and she must have accidently shot those people in Alabama. Amy Bishop is psychotic and without the help of her mother and local authorities those people in Alabama would be still be alive. I hope those involved are tormented till their dying days for what they allowed to happen. She killed her brother out of jelousy – he was everything that she wasn’t. i hope she is executed.

  3. MAJack says:

    This woman is a complete whack job, who has now murdered many people after getting off away with her first crime. Strap her in and turn on the current.

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