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Georgia top court to hear Parker appeal

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WALKER COUNTY, GA (Times Free Press) - Former LaFayette, Ga., police sergeant Sam Parker on Monday afternoon will appeal his conviction and life sentence for the murder of his third wife, Theresa Parker, a Walker County 911 operator.

In September 2009, a jury imported from Bartow County for the high-profile case found Parker guilty of murdering Theresa Parker, making a false statement and violation of oath by a public officer. A year later, on Sept. 10, 2010, Theresa Parker's skeletal remains were found in a remote part of Chattooga County, Ga., near the home of Sam Parker's father.

Parker's attorney, Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit Public Defender David J. Dunn, argues the trial court made three errors so serious the rulings should be reversed and Parker's charges dismissed.

Walker County sheriff's deputies illegally searched Parker's home without a warrant, Dunn argues. They trespassed on his property and the evidence found at the home should have been suppressed but was instead used to contradict Parker's pretrial statements. Parker's answer about the vehicle he had driven the morning his wife disappeared was contradicted by what the deputies had seen in the garage. But their search was "unconstitutional and void," Dunn argues in briefs.

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