Trial continued for Desta Dodson-Byrd’s murder

By CHRISTINE BOATWRIGHT / Staff Writer

BIBB COUNTY – The trial for William Jody Byrd, who was charged for the murder of his wife, Desta Dodson-Byrd, has been continued until summer 2013.

The couple was living in Brierfield in February 1999, when Dodson-Byrd was shot and killed.

Byrd was arrested May 27, 2011, and charged with the February 1999 shooting of his wife. Byrd has since been released on bond, according to Blount County District Attorney Pamela Casey.

William Jody Byrd.

The trial was set for Oct. 22, but when Casey was asked to be a special prosecutor in the case at the end of September, she asked for a continuation.

“I was in the end of a capital murder case when I was asked to take it,” Casey said. “I hadn’t even gone through the file, so I asked for a continuation.

“I’m eager to get the case tried. Depending on the judge’s schedule and my schedule, I’m hoping to try it by this summer,” she added.

Dodson-Byrd’s father, Ronnie Dodson, a Calera resident, said he is “very happy” with Casey’s recent involvement in the case.

“She is very determined and energetic about doing what’s right in the trial and for Desta’s justice, especially after this many years,” Dodson said.

Ann Coyle, a family friend, is a member of Justice for Desta, a group formed by friends of Dodson-Byrd to draw attention to the case and “insist that the justice system work for Desta,” the website, Justicefordesta.org, states.

“Given the cost of the trial, both emotional and financial, I think everyone involved wants to do this right. The continuation of the trial is not a bad thing,” Coyle said. “We want justice for Desta, and want it as quickly as possible, but we think a continuation is in the best interest of everyone.”