UK & World News
Professor Jailed For Life Over US Uni Murders
A former university professor has been sentenced to life in prison without parole after being convicted of killing three colleagues and wounding three others.
Harvard-educated Amy Bishop went on a shooting rampage during a biology department meeting at the University of Alabama in February 2010.
She avoided the death sentence by pleading guilty earlier this month and the jury deliberated for around 20 minutes before convicting her.
Before her guilty plea, her lawyers had said they planned to use the insanity defence.
"She is shattered beyond belief," her lawyer Roy Miller said.
Bishop killed her boss, biology department chairman Gopi Padila, plus professors Maria Ragland Davis and Adriel Johnson. Professors Joseph Leahy, staff aide Stephanie Monticciolo and assistant professor Luis Cruz-Vera were shot and wounded.
Professor Leahy said he was satisfied with the verdict and life sentence, but no amount of remorse by Bishop could change what she had done.
"She has just sort of ceased to exist for me," he told reporters after the brief trial.
A police investigator said during the brief trial that Bishop denied having anything to do with the rampage and shook her head when it was mentioned in court that the shootings were intentional.
District Attorney Rob Broussard said Bishop's reaction in court didn't make sense.
"You can't take a loaded 9mm and hold it inches away from human beings' heads and tell me you didn't mean to do that," said Mr Broussard.
Investigator Charlie Gray also said police believe Bishop opened fire during the meeting because she was angry over being denied tenure, which effectively ended her career at the university in Huntsville.
"She would say, 'It didn't happen. I wasn't there. It wasn't me,'" Mr Gray said.
Bishop could still face a trial in Massachusetts, where she is charged in connection with the 1986 killing of her 18-year-old brother.
Seth Bishop's death had been ruled an accident after Amy Bishop told investigators she shot him in the family's Braintree home as she tried to unload her father's gun.
But the Alabama shootings prompted a new investigation and charges.
A decision is expected later this week.