HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - A former college professor who killed three people and wounded three others during a faculty meeting wanted to go to death row and had to be convinced by her parents to accept a plea deal that spared her life, her lawyer said Tuesday.
Amy Bishop, 47, didn't want to live among other inmates because she was terrified of being sexually abused in Alabama's lone women's prison, defense attorney Roy Miller told The Associated Press.
"She wanted to die," he said. Bishop also didn't want to "live in a chicken coop the rest of her life," he said.
A judge sentenced Bishop, a Harvard-educated biologist, to life without parole Monday after jurors convicted her during an abbreviated trial. She pleaded guilty earlier this month, but state law required a trial because she admitted to a capital murder charge.
Authorities have said Bishop opened fire during a University of Alabama biology department meeting in Huntsville on Feb. 12, 2010, because she had been denied tenure.
Bishop, who had been held without bond in the Madison County jail since the shootings, was transferred to Julia Tutwiler, the women's prison, on Tuesday afternoon, a prison official said.
Bishop accepted a plea deal only after talking with her mother and father, Miller said.
"She was never inclined to plead guilty to life without parole," he said.
Bishop attempted suicide once in the county lockup by cutting her wrists, authorities said.
The Justice Department is reviewing allegations of rape, sexual assault and harassment by male guards at Tutwiler prison after a legal aid group filed a complaint in May. The Montgomery-based Equal Justice Initiative said it based the claims on interviews with more than 50 women at the maximum-security prison, located north of Montgomery.
Prison system spokesman Brian Corbett said Bishop would likely spend about a month in a cell by herself before moving into the prison's general population.