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Testimony Ends In Bishop Inquest

This article is more than 9 years old.

The top assistant prosecutor when Amy Bishop killed her brother in 1986 criticized local police Thursday as a judge wrapped up testimony in an inquest into the fatal Braintree shooting.

John Kivlan was one of the final witnesses to testify at the closed-door inquest to determine if the shooting of Seth Bishop was intentional. It originally was ruled an accident.

As he arrived at Quincy District Court on Thursday, Kivlan repeated his earlier criticism of Braintree police. He said police never told the district attorney's office that after she shot her brother, Bishop tried to commandeer a getaway car at gunpoint and refused to drop her gun until police ordered her to do so repeatedly.

Listen: Attorney Al Johnson On The Inquest

The 1986 case is being scrutinized again because Bishop was charged with killing three colleagues at the University of Alabama-Huntsville on Feb. 12.

Kivlan said he hopes the inquest will answer questions, including why "significant evidence wasn't reported to our office and state police."

Kivlan said he and U.S. Rep. William Delahunt — who was then the top prosecutor in Norfolk County — believe the inquest is a way to get at the truth.

"It's important that the court seek the truth about what happened on the afternoon of Dec. 6, 1986," he said.

It was not immediately clear whether Delahunt will testify or give a statement to Judge Mark Coven, who is conducting the inquest.

The inquest, which began Tuesday, included testimony from 19 witnesses, including Bishop's father, Samuel, and mother, Judith, who testified twice.

Judith Bishop was the only eyewitness to the shooting and told police in 1986 that her daughter accidentally shot Seth while trying to unload their Samuel Bishop's shotgun. She did not comment to reporters after her testimony.

On Tuesday, Kenneth Brady, a retired Braintree police officer, said he drove Judith Bishop to the police station where Amy Bishop was taken after being arrested. Brady said Judith Bishop asked to see the police chief, John Polio. A short time later, officers were told not to book Bishop and to release her to her parents, Brady said.

Also testifying during the inquest were two men who told police they were threatened at gunpoint by Bishop after she shot her brother.

Tom Pettigrew and Jeff Doyle, who worked in a Braintree car dealership auto body shop, told police Bishop pointed the shotgun at them and demanded a getaway car. Pettigrew said he and Doyle fled, then saw Bishop trying car door handles in the parking lot. He said they saw Bishop being arrested by police a short time later.

Norfolk District Attorney William Keating called for the inquest after Bishop was charged in the Alabama killings.

The judge is expected to issue a report and recommendations to prosecutors.

Keating could use the report to seek a grand jury indictment against Bishop or to say there is not enough evidence to prosecute her in her brother's death.

Keating has said she should have been charged with weapons violations for her actions after her brother's killing. The statute of limitations has already run on any charge except murder.

This program aired on April 15, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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