Parker Hearing Ends; Motion to Dismiss Denied - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Parker Trial Delayed

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Sam & Theresa Parker Sam & Theresa Parker
Tuesday, April 21:

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB)  - There are new details in the case of a former LaFayette police officer accused of killing his wife. Sam Parker's trial has been delayed.

Parker's wife, Theresa, disappeared two years ago. Her body was never found, but Parker was charged with murder last year.

Last week, a judge set Parker's trial for June 8. But Tuesday, April 21 the judge said he has a conflict with that date.

At this time, the new date of the trial is unknown.

Friday, April 17:

Rachel Withers
Eyewitness News Reporter

LAFAYETTE (WRCB) -- Continuing coverage in the murder case against a former Lafayette police officer charged with killing his estranged wife in 2007.  Sam Parker was in court Friday for the first time in more than a year.

Theresa Parker disappeared in March of 2007.  Searches for the Walker County 911 dispatcher covered dozens of square miles in North Georgia, both on land and underwater, but her body was never found.

Nearly a year after Theresa disappeared, her husband, Sam Parker was charged with murder..

Cameras weren't allowed inside the courtroom Friday, just one of several extra security measures in place at this big hearing.  This is the first time Theresa's family has seen Sam Parker in 14 months, and it wasn't easy.

Our camera was rolling as Theresa Parker's family made an emotional return to the Walker County courthouse.  More than a year has passed since Sam Parker was arrested for his estranged wife's 2007 murder.  Still, the pain is just as real as the day she disappeared.

"The last weeks and days leading up to this, there has been the quiet times, and it just made us realize more that there is no closure," Theresa Parker's sister, Hilda Wilson, told Eyewitness News.

No closure, and still no sign of Theresa Parker's body.  The 911 dispatcher's disappearance is haunted by unanswered questions, and her family admits they're running out of time.

Wilson added, "I mean there's just always that chance that there's that one juror that says, 'We don't have a body, is she gone or is she still with us?' That does bother me a little bit."

We got our hands on the motions discussed in court Friday.  Defense attorneys asked the court for a preliminary hearing, on grounds Parker's indictment is too vague.  The judge denied that motion, but agreed to the state's only request.  An elderly prosecution witness will testify on tape, because she's too sick to attend the trial.  Through it all Sam Parker sat handcuffed, just a few feet from Theresa's family.

"I mean, I just was extremely sad, extremely sad," Wilson said.  "I just felt the connection between him sitting there and the disappearance of my sister."

Sam Parker's next hearing is set for May 15th.  We're told that's when the judge will decide if he's going to change the trial's venue, and if he'll sequester jurors.

Parker's murder trial is set for early June.

FRIDAY NOON

LAFAYETTE (WRCB) -- Judge Bo Wood has ended the hearing. He denied a defense motion to dismiss the case because of insufficient evidence.

The case will be back in court on May 15th to hear a defense request for change of venue.

Theresa Parker's family talked to Eyewitness News. Look for their comments later on WRCBtv.com and Live at 5pm.

FRIDAY 10AM

LAFAYETTE (WRCB) -- A judge is hearing motions in the case of former LaFayette police officer Sam Parker.

Parker is accused of killing his estranged wife Theresa who vanished two years ago. A grand jury indicted Parker for murder even though Theresa's body has never been found. Parker's attorney has filed a change of venue motion.

Theresa was a Walker County dispatcher at the time of her disappearance. Channel-3 Eyewitness News filed to have a camera in the courtroom for the hearing but Judge Bo Wood denied that request.

A tentative trial date has been set for June.

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