Trial set for Desta Dodson-Byrd’s murder


BIBB COUNTY – The trial for William Jody Byrd, who was charged for the murder of his wife, Desta Dodson-Byrd, has been set for Oct. 28.

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.

Blount County District Attorney Pamela Casey was asked to be a special prosecutor in the case at the end of September. Casey asked for a continuation of the trial, which was originally set for Oct. 22, to have time to look over the trial details.

Casey, who previously anticipated the trial would be set for summer 2013, said the Oct. 28 date was set to work with both her calendar and the Bibb County court’s.

Ann Coyle, a family friend, is a member of Justice for Desta, a group formed by friends of Dodson-Byrd, which includes Shelby County residents.

“As for Justice for Desta, we are especially pleased, as this trial date gives both sides ample opportunity to prepare. We firmly believe that this will help to ensure that the end result will be a fair and just trial,” Coyle wrote in an email.