Parker Files Appeal
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 9TH
LAFAYETTE, GA (WRCB) The attorney for Sam Parker says he's filed a motion for a new trial.
The former Lafayette cop was found guilty of murdering his wife, and sentenced to life in prison.
The trial lasted two and a half weeks, and prosecutors got a conviction even though Theresa Parker's body has never been found.
Public Defender David Dunn tells Eyewitness News, it will take months for the appeals process to move along, but he's optimistic about getting a re-trial.
THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 3RD 5:30PM
LAFAYETTE (WRCB) -- Judge Bo Wood immediately sentenced Sam Parker to life in prison.
THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 3RD 5:00PM
LAFAYETTE (WRCB) - Former LaFayette police officer Sam Parker has been found guilty of murdering his wife. He has been sentenced to life in prison. Channel 3 Eyewitness News Anchor Amy Morrow was in the courtroom every day of the trial and tells us Parker was found not guilty of an invasion of privacy charge but guilty of all other counts.
THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 3RD 2:30PM
LAFAYETTE (WRCB) -- Judge Bo Wood issued an Allen charge to the jury. Here is the definition.
The Allen Charge is a trial instruction the presiding judge issues to the jury to encourage a quick verdict when the decision-making process appears to have stalled.
More details as they become available.
THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 3RD 1PM
LAFAYETTE (WRCB) -- The jury is now back to 8-4 on the murder charge in the fourth day of deliberations in the Sam Parker Trial.
WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 2ND 6PM
LAFAYETTE (WRCB) -- The jury is now 9-3 on the murder charge but we still don't which decision they are favoring on their decision. Deliberations resume Thursday.
WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 2ND NOON
LAFAYETTE (WRCB) -- Jury deliberations resumed Wednesday in the Sam Parker trial. Jury members deliberated for about two hours before they broke for lunch.
TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 1ST 5:30 PM
LAFAYETTE (WRCB) - The first full day of jury deliberations is wrapping up in the Sam Parker trial. There is no verdict yet. The jury forewoman told Judge Bo Wood that the jury was split 8-4 on the charge of malice murder. It was not revealed which way the jury was leaning. The jury has come to a 12-0 decision on the remaining charges although it is not known if jury members found Parker guilty or not guilty.
Those remaining charges are:
- computer invasion of privacy
- giving false statements
- violation of oath of office
MONDAY AUGUST 31ST 2:30PM
LAFAYETTE (WRCB) -- Opening arguments have finished for the day in the final arguments in the Sam Parker trial.
The judge will charge the jury after lunch.
FRIDAY AUGUST 28TH 11:30AM
LAFAYETTE (WRCB) -- Testimony in the trial wrapped Friday morning.
The defense only put two witnesses on the stand; Sam Parker's first wife and a neighbor. Sam Parker did not take the stand. Final arguments and charging the jury will take place Monday.
THURSDAY AUGUST 27TH NOON
LAFAYETTE (WRCB) -- Theresa Parker's sisters took the stand. Christina Hall has already testified and Hilda Wilson was on the stand when the proceedings broke for lunch.
Highlights of Thursday morning's testimony:
The Parkers, Theresa and Sam, were having a cookout. Theresa went inside the house to take a bath. Sam Parker reportedly gets in with his clothes on and starts throwing things, going crazy.
Theresa stayed with her sister Hilda after an incident in Florida where Sam Parker became violent.
The first witness Thursday morning was an emergency room nurse who was on duty when Sam came in with hurt hip early one morning. Parker's sister was also an ER nurse and a friend to the witness. The witness said Parker told her he fell off a porch looking for his dead wife. She also said Parker told her that he had f****d up and he had crossed the line.
WEDNESDAY AUGUST 26TH NOON
LAFAYETTE (WRCB) -- The ex-wife of Sam Parker took the stand.
She said at one time.he grabbed her by the hair, drug her through broken glass and handcuffed her to bed
Another time, she said he moved out and been gone a month. Parker still had key and came back after he heard she had been out.. She said Parker choked her, put a gun to her head and said if her daughter wasn't in the other room, he would blow her brains out.
TUESDAY AUGUST 25TH NOON
LAFAYETTE (WRCB) -- Prosecutors played a raw tape of interview that Atlanta Fox affiliate WAGA recorded with Sam Parker.
On the tape, Parker says "Now I'm stuck here, I wish she had taken care of things before she left... I didn't hurt her."
Earlier, defense attorneys finished their cross examination with GBI agent James Harris.
MONDAY AUGUST 24TH NOON
LAFAYETTE (WRCB) -- Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent James Harris has been on the stand. Prosecutors are playing audio tape of interview that Harris did with Sam Parker.
In this interview, Parker told investigators he hoped his estranged wife, Theresa, was off with somebody.
The tape will continue after lunch.
FRIDAY AUGUST 21ST NOON
LAFAYETTE (WRCB) -- A fellow officer from the LaFayette Police Department testified about Sam Parker's behavior. He said Parker placed a grim reaper sticker on door and showed people a bullet extracted from a person he killed in line of duty. The officer says he saw Parker use a rear choke hold technique to get people's attention. The officer demonstrated on the prosecutor.
Later a retired trooper from Georgia State Patrol took the stand. The trooper talked to Sam Parker on phone and Sam told him Theresa Parker was missing but Sam Parker hadn't officially reported her missing.
The third witness, another officer, testified he called Sam Parker after Theresa was missing. He said Sam wanted to know if "they" asked him to call.
Yet another officer came to visit Sam Parker and he said Sam made him pull up his shirt to show he wasn't wired.
THURSDAY AUGUST 20TH 7PM
LAFAYETTE (WRCB) -- Testimony in the Parker murder trial Thursday focused on an emergency call to police that came in years before Theresa Parker disappeared.
A 9-1-1 dispatcher who worked with Theresa Parker say Theresa called for help in 2004. The dispatcher told the jury that Theresa told her over the phone that her husband, Sam Parker had hit her.
The responding deputy with the Walker County Sheriff's Department says Sam Parker was screaming and waving his arms when he arrived at the Parker home on Cordell Road... But that Theresa told a different story.
Bruce Coker says, " I noticed a red mark on the side of her neck and I asked if he had hit her and she said, no. He didn't hit me, I don't want him to go to jail."
Sam Parker did not go to jail that night. Bruce Coker told the jury the house was in mess and it appeared that Theresa's belongs had been tossed into the yard. Testimony continues tomorrow morning. It could be the middle of next week before the defense presents evidence.
THURSDAY AUGUST 20TH NOON
LAFAYETTE (WRCB) -- The mother of Theresa Parker mom took the stand. During the emotional testimony, she cried repeatedly. At one pont, she testified Sam Parker threatened to kill her and no one would find her. A follow 911 employee also testified. The employee took the call when Theresa was reported missing.
WEDNESDAY AUGUST 19TH NOON
LAFAYETTE (WRCB) -- Walker County sheriff's deputy Shane Green testified. Defense attorney for Sam Parker is trying to make it look like he had something going on with Parker's estranged wife, Theresa. Green remains on the stand after lunch.
TUESDAY AUGUST 18TH NOON
LAFAYETTE (WRCB) -- Former LaFayette police officer Ben Chaffin testified. Chaffin said on stand Sam Parker called him while Parker was at a woman's house. Chaffin claimed that Parker said he had "really done it this time and that he had a place really hard to find". Chaffin said Parker told him he shot Theresa through the head. Chaffin said he broke down. He also said Parker promised to kill him if he told anyone. Chaffin said he helped Parker break into Theresa's email.
MONDAY AUGUST 17TH 4PM
LAFAYETTE (WRCB) -- Prosecutors also showed surveillance camera video.
It shows Theresa running errands, the day before she disappeared.
MONDAY AUGUST 17TH 12:30PM
LAFAYETTE (WRCB) -- From our Amy Morrow:
Three witnesses so far have testfied. First two are women who work at Black Bear Lodge where Theresa Parker stayed in Gatlinburg. First talked about Theresa making the reservation for two. Second witness said Sam Parker called saying he was investigating and wanting information about who/when/where.
Third was a police officer. Prosecution says Sam got lodge to fax him a copy of receipt. Officer testified Sam posted it on the wall at the police department.. Sam had some picture of a battered woman on his office door ... wrote "this bitch didn't know when to shut up". Officer took it down. Break for lunch... Officer testimony will continue after lunch.
MONDAY AUGUST 17TH 11AM
LAFAYETTE(WRCB) -- Opening statements have concluded in the Parker trial with testimony set to start Monday morning.
From our Amy Morrow: Prosecutors called Sam Parker a violent, jealous man who was going through a nasty divorce with his estranged wife, Theresa, and he killed her.
Parker's attorney countered that prosecutors have nothing to prove their theory. They say Theresa Parker vanished and they have no idea how she disappeared. Defense attorneys discredited potiential witness, LaFayette police officer Ben Chaffin, saying he has changed his story.
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - On Monday a former Lafayette Police officer faces a judge to answer charges he murdered his wife. Investigators have been searching for answers in the death of Theresa Parker for two years. They never found the body, but they say they've found her killer: her ex-husband Sam.
"No, no, if Theresa were alive her family would know. Theresa was not the type of person, she wouldn't disappear," said Theresa Parker's sister, Christina Hall.
Hall hasn't seen her sister since March 21, 2007 when the Walker County 911 dispatcher disappeared. Six days later, a massive search was launched near the Parker home on Cordell Road where Theresa lived with her soon-to-be ex-husband Sam Parker, a Lafayette police officer. Later investigators searched ponds near the home looking for any trace of Theresa Parker.
In April, Lafayette Police Officer Ben Chaffin was suspended and charged with giving a false statement to investigators in connection to the case. Days later, Sam Parker was suspended after investigators found explosives in his locker.
A few days later, police and a doctor were called to Parker's home. He was described as despondent. Parker was arrested in February 2008, nearly a year after Theresa disappeared.
Parker has been in out of court for various appearances since that time. Evidence has since been revealed in court that agents found blood in the back of Theresa Parker's SUV. The blood matched her's and Sam Parker's. Prosecutors have also interviewed deputies who had answered domestic emergency calls to the Parker home.
Despite the state's allegations against Sam Parker, his sister has maintained his innocence.
Parker's trial starts Monday morning in Walker County. The Bartow County jury will not be sequestered, but they'll be bussed back and forth each day.
We'll keep you updated on the trial everyday right here on WRCBtv.com and on Eyewitness News.