Days after Amy Bishop was indicted on a murder charge for the 1986 shotgun slaying of her 18-year-old brother in their Braintree home, she tried to kill herself in an Alabama jail where she has been held since allegedly going on a shooting rampage in February at the University of Alabama Huntsville.
A source confirmed a report by WHNT television station in Alabama that Bishop, 45, attempted suicide at Huntsville/Madison County Metro Jail on Wednesday night or Thursday morning. She was treated at a local hospital, then returned to the jail.
Bishop's attorney in Alabama could not immediately be reached.
Norfolk District Attorney William R. Keating announced Wednesday that Bishop had been indicted on a first degree murder charge for the Dec. 6, 1986, shotgun slaying of her brother Seth, which at the time had been ruled an accident by authorities.
Keating re-examined the case after Bishop was charged with slaying three of her colleagues and wounding three others in Alabama and concluded that evidence that had not been shared with prosecutors at the time suggested Seth Bishop's slaying was intentional.
Quincy attorney Bryan J. Stevens, who represents Bishop's parents, Judith and Sam Bishop of Ipswich, said he did not know whether Bishop made any statements after her indictment for her brother's slaying.
But he said today "I don't think there's any doubt that she considered it to be an accident; and that's what the family has believed for 23 yrs.''
He added, "Amy and her brother were very close. There was no animosity at all between them. There's no reason at all she'd want to kill her brother.''
Bishop then fled the home, tried to commandeer a car at gunpoint from a Braintree auto dealership, and trained the gun on police, who eventually persuaded her to drop the weapon, according to police reports from 1986. Bishop was released within hours and did not face charges at the time.
Her mother told police that she witnessed the shooting and it was an accident.
Bishop, a biology professor, graduated from Northeastern University, earned a doctorate in genetics at Harvard University, then worked in the labs at several Boston hospitals. She and her husband moved to Alabama with their four children in 2003.
On Feb. 12, Bishop allegedly opened fire on her colleagues during a faculty meeting after being denied tenure.
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