GA parole board speaks to victim's family
DALTON, WHITFIELD COUNTY (WRCB) - In August 2004, Tara Swilley was shot in the head while lying in Parker's bed.
The family of Tara Swilley is still haunted by her murder. Six years after it happened they share their story with Georgia's Parole Board.
Buddy Parker said the death of his daughter still haunts his mind.
He was away on business when the 26-year-old was hit by a bullet almost 150 yards away.
Six years later, the family says time doesn't always heal all wounds.
"This just takes time and we have had a really hard time with this. You never get over it you just deal with it day to day," Buddy Parker says.
"No. There is no closure," JoAnn Parker says.
Tuesday the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles met with families in Dalton to talk about cases involving their loved ones.
This is the second time the Parkers have met to get an update on Swilley's convicted killer, Jeffery Hampton.
The board chair said they act as an audience to each family, but each case is never easy to hear.
"I become a victim every time I crack open a file and look at the horrendous things people have done to one another," Chairman James Donald says.
For Swilley's family this case has been a long and heartbreaking ordeal.
Tammy Parker says family functions haven't been the same in Tara's absence.
"I miss her. I hate holidays. It is just sad," Parker says.
JoAnn Parker still wants to know why this tragedy happened and Donald says that's the number question families ask at the meetings.
Joann says Tara's death not only scarred the family over the years, but the pain hasn't left.
"I have nightmares. It was a horrible thing to go through and you don't forget it," JoAnn says.
Hampton was convicted for murder eight months after Swilley's death. He was sentenced to life in prison and is up for parole in 2018.