Police reports recovered from 1986 shooting involving Amy Bishop

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February 16, 2010, 9:36 pm
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(NECN: Josh Brogadir) - There are new revelations about the accused Alabama shooter and her dark past in Massachusetts. Missing police reports in the shooting death of Amy Bishop's brother have been recovered, and handed over to the Norfolk County District Attorney.

The 1986 shooting was ruled an accident, but current DA William Keating says the documents show there was probable cause to file weapons and assault charges against Amy Bishop.

The missing police report from the Braintree Police Department, thought to be lost for decades, has now been recovered in the archives.

What it does though, is raise even more questions about how this case was handled - or mishandled - back in 1986.

"In checking out our archive files, the report is missing," said Braintree, MA Chief Paul Frazier in a press conference Saturday.

And now it has been found.

A copy of the Braintree Police Department report about the death of Seth Bishop at the hands of his sister Amy from back in 1986 - sent over to NECN Tuesday evening by the Norfolk DA's office.

The archived reports were found with other investigative files maintained by a retired Braintree Police Captain.

"We've got some inconsistent statements that don't appear to have been followed up or even questioned," said criminal defense attorney Ed Ryan, a former prosecutor and past president of the MA Bar Association.

Among the many questions Ryan has - two stand out as significant in having never brought charges two decades ago.

How far away was Amy Bishop when she shot her brother - and where was Seth Bishop's body located when investigators arrived.

"The first thing that leaps off the page here is that the first officer in the house who observed the deceased, describes him as being face down on his left side. This is inconsistent with the later written state police report that describes the victim as being on his back," Ryan said.

Amy Bishop, now charged with gunning down three of her colleagues and wounding three others at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, was never charged two decades ago, in spite of firing a shotgun three times, fleeing the house, and allegedly threatening auto body worker Tom Pettigrew.

Three days after he denied there was a department cover-up, we returned to the home of former Braintree Chief John Polio, who said he never saw the final report.

"It was revealing in a lot ways, surprising because I had never seen it before," Chief Polio said.

What has still not been explained carefully was why Amy Bishop wasn't booked - why she was released from police custody and never charged.

We asked Ryan, "did my Bishop get away with murder?"

"Well, I can't say that she got away with murder because there's a number of other factors one would want to look at, but certainly there's a lot of unanswered questions here," Ryan said.

After a current review of all documents, the current DA Bill Keating thinks enough probable cause exists to have charged Bishop with the following charges:
Assault with a Dangerous Weapon, Carrying a Dangerous Weapon, and Unlawful possession of ammunition.

The statute of limitations has run on all of those charges and on a charge of manslaughter.

Murder charges could be brought at any time, but legal experts consider that extremely unlikely.

Tags: Amy Bishop, Braintree, Alabama
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