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Alleged killer professor had killed before

Feb. 13, 2010 at 7:51 PM   |   Comments

HUNTSVILLE, Ala., Feb. 13 (UPI) -- The biology professor at the University of Alabama Huntsville charged with killing three colleagues shot her brother dead in 1986, police said Saturday.

Amy Bishop, a mother of four, allegedly opened fire at a biology department meeting Friday afternoon in Alabama. Investigators said she left her handgun in a bathroom and called her husband for a ride, The Huntsville Times reported.

She was charged with a single count of capital murder Saturday. Her husband, James Anderson, was detained with her Friday but has not been charged.

In Braintree, Mass., Police Chief Paul Frazier said at a Saturday news conference that Bishop, then 20, was arrested after her brother, Seth, 18, was shot dead in the family home, WCVB-TV, Boston, reported. He said Bishop was released without being charged by order of John Polio, the chief at the time, a decision that left police officers on duty at the time "frustrated."

All records of the shooting have disappeared, Frazier said, except for a brief note in the booking log.

Polio, now 86, said there was no coverup. He said the shooting was investigated by District Attorney William Delahunt, now a congressman, who determined it was accidental.

In Alabama, the dead have been identified as Gopi Podila, chairman of the biological sciences department, and Maria Davis and Adriel Johnson, both associate professors of biology, The Huntsville Times said.

Two faculty members, Joseph Leahy and Luis Cruz-Vera, and Stephanie Monticello, a department staff assistant, remained hospitalized Saturday.

Bishop, who received a doctoral degree from Harvard University, was reportedly denied tenure at Huntsville several months ago.

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