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Friday, July 17, 2009

[GA] Overview: Fired Police Sgt. Sam Parker's murder-of-Theresa pretrial hearings argue what evidence will be allowed.

...Walker County 911 operator Rhonda Knox received a call from her friend [and fellow-dispatcher] Theresa Parker’s cell phone early on March 22, 2007, but when she answered, no one spoke. “It was still connected,” she said Wednesday on the third and final day of pretrial hearing in Walker County Superior Court. “I listened, said ‘hello’ several times and then I heard a click. I just wanted her to be OK. I had a feeling like something wasn’t right”... Knox said she contacted Shane Green, at that time a Walker County deputy, and asked him to go to the Parker residence at 95 Cordell Ave. to check on Theresa... Crime scene investigator Audie Wayne Murphy was questioned on taking two blood samples from the bumper, under the latch, of the murder victim’s Toyota Forerunner... Forensic biologist Ashley Hinkle with the GBI crime lab testified to testing various samples of evidence, including the blood on the bumper, a washcloth with blood on it, dog hair with blood on it, a flashlight, shirt, sweatshirt and towel, to name a few. DNA examiner Jessica Walker with the U.S. Army crime lab and formerly with the GBI, conducted tests on the two blood samples and confirmed the two blood stains were one on top of the other and that the DNA found in the samples were that of Teresa Parker and Sam Parker...

Recalling older info:
...[YOU DID NOT KILL HER?]
"NO! NO NO NO NO NO.
SHE GOT CAUGHT IN A MESS
--- AND IMPLODED.
.."

Sam Parker was fired from LaFayette Police Department three weeks after Theresa's disappearance when explosives were found in his work locker.
They were not police explosives.

Previous entries on the blog:
RECENT VIDEOS:
WILL DOMESTIC POLICE CALL BE ALLOWED IN SAM PARKER'S MURDER TRIAL?
WDEF News 12
July 13, 2009 - 6:56pm
[Excerpt] A judge in Walker county heard motions on Monday in the Sam Parker murder case. The prosecution wants to admit evidence that Sam and Theresa Parker had a violent marriage. A Walker county deputy testified about the domestic violence call he took at the Parker's home. The deputy called Parker a friend. He did not arrest Parker and admits leaving some information out of the report. But the defense argues prosecutors don't have enough evidence to dig up old cases... [Full article here]

DOG EXPERT COMING UP IN SAM PARKER HEARING
timesfreepress.com
By: Chloé Morrison
Monday, July 13, 2009
[Excerpts] ...Earlier this morning, a Walker County deputy testified that he decided during a domestic violence call at Sam Parker’s home not to arrest the man he called his friend and left some information out of the police report. Deputy Bruce Coker testified at a motion hearing ahead of Mr. Parker’s Aug. 17 trial on charges of murdering his wife, former Walker County 911 dispatcher Theresa Parker... District Attorney Leigh Patterson’s motion argued that Mr. Parker’s alleged history of violence should be admitted as evidence in his murder trial. Defense attorney David Dunn responded that the prosecution doesn’t have enough evidence to prove Mr. Parker had a violent past. Deputy Coker testified that he responded to a domestic violence call at the Parker home in May, 2002. He said he made the call to separate Mr. and Mrs. Parker rather than arrest Mr. Parker, then a LaFayette police officer, on a charge of assault. He said Mrs. Parker looked like she had been struck, but she denied her husband had hit her and said she had scratched herself. “You don’t know how much I’ve toiled over this... I left feeling good about the report, because Sam was a friend and fellow officer and she didn’t want to be a victim”... The prosecution recounted two other incidents, but Mr. Dunn argued that they weren’t enough to prove Mr. Parker was violent... [Full article here]

CAN DOG'S NOSE CRACK MURDER CASE?
WTVC
John Pless
July 13, 2009 - 6:26 PM
[Excerpts] ...This case marks only the fifth in Georgia state history where prosecutors have moved forward with a murder trial despite no evidence the alleged victim has died, according to the Lookout Mountain Judicial District's Public Defender's Office... Prosecutors say he murdered his wife and has concealed her body so well it still hasn't been found. That's the reality of this case - no body, no weapon and no physical evidence Mrs. Parker is dead. But the F.B.I.'s top K-9 expert, Rex Stockham, came from F.B.I. headquarters in Virginia to say it's possible a couple cadaver search dogs may have picked up a whiff or two of the scent left behind by a decomposing human body. Searchers spent months looking for Mrs. Parker and any clues that could help investigators find out what happened to her. But after hours of exhaustive testimony about how dogs are trained and what smells they may or may not detect Stockham said on cross-examination the dog's behavior "may not really mean anything"... After all the searching and after all the interviews with people, including those now deceased, prosecutors say they're ready to take their best shot at Sam Parker. With so much information still missing and so much speculation from "expert witnesses" Judge Jon Wood will listen to the evidence this week and decide what can be used at trial August 17... [Full article here]

SEARCH-DOG EXPERTS TESTIFY IN PARKER MURDER CASE HEARINGS
Walker County Messenger
by Josh O'Bryant
07.14.09 - 10:36 am
[Excerpts] Pretrial motion hearings continued Tuesday morning in the Sam Parker murder case, as two search-dog experts took to the stand. The pretrial hearings, which began Monday, are taking place in Walker County Superior Court in downtown LaFayette, with Judge Jon "Bo" Wood presiding. Parker's murder trial is scheduled to begin Aug. 17 in Walker Superior Court. He was charged in February 2008 with murdering his wife, Theresa. He has been in jail since then. Theresa Parker, a dispatcher with Walker County 911 and who lived on Cordell Avenue, has been missing since March 21, 2007. Her body has not been found. Sam Parker was a sergeant with the LaFayette Police Department when she disappeared. In preparation for Parker's Aug. 17 trial, prosecutors and the defense this week are arguing over what should be admitted as evidence... Lisa Higgins of Louisiana was the first to testify. Higgins retired from law enforcement after 30 years and continues to train search-and-rescue dogs... Higgins brought her Australian shepherd named "Maggie" to search for Theresa Parker in April 2007... While investigating vehicles in the impound behind the Walker County Sheriff's Office, Maggie picked up a scent and sent an alert, by laying down, when she came across a Toyota Forerunner. Maggie had a change of behavior when she picked up a scent along the rear passenger's side of the vehicle... The second witness was Martin Grime of the United Kingdom and is occasionally contracted by the U.S. government and is a qualified expert in cadaver dogs. Grime said, "If you look at the statistics, bodies are never carried (physically) over 150 yards"... [Full article here]

PRETRIAL TESTIMONY CONTINUES IN SAM PARKER MURDER CASE
CatWalkChatt
by Josh O'Bryant (Walker County Messenger)
Jul 14, 2009
[Excerpts] ...The second witness was Martin Grime of the United Kingdom. He is occasionally contracted by the U.S. govern-ment and is a qualified expert in cadaver dogs. Grime displayed five videos of his search dog “Eddie,” trained to search for human decomposition... On Sept. 20, 2007, Eddie and Grime traveled to Sam Parker’s residence at 95 Cordell Ave. in LaFayette for the dog to search the property... Grime said Eddie was used to search the residence — inside, around and under-neath — and found nothing. But in the garage area, between a boat and a pickup truck, Eddie gave an alert of a scent. Woodruff asked Grime why he did not search the pickup... The courtroom became tense when Woodruff questioned Grime’s reading of the dog and their legitimacy... [Full article here]

DEFENSE ARGUES SAM PARKER’S RESIDENCE “SEARCHED” ILLEGALLY
CatWalkChatt
Jul 15, 2009
[Excerpts] Sam Parker’s public defender argued Wednesday that testimony from two Walker County deputies should not be allowed in Parker’s murder trial because they "searched" his residence - and did so without a warrant... First on the stand Wednesday afternoon was Rhonda Knox, who worked at Walker County 911 dispatch and was friends with Theresa, her supervisor. Knox recalled various conversations with Theresa about Sam and Theresa’s rocky relationship, Sam’s supposed aggressive behavior, and a pending divorce. According to Knox’s testimony, she received a call on her cell phone around 6 a.m. on March 22, 2007, from Theresa’s cell phone. Knox said she answered her phone but got a “hang up” from Theresa’s phone. Knox said she returned Theresa’s call, but did not get an answer and never heard from her again. Knox said she contacted Shane Green, at that time a Walker County deputy, and asked him to go to the Parker residence at 95 Cordell Ave. to check on Theresa... Green said he kept Knox on her phone as he tried to locate the Parker house. He said he drove along Cordell Avenue for a few minutes to locate the residence and contacted Walker County deputy Corey Griffin to meet him there... Green said he lightly pressed his hand against the garage door and it opened about a centimeter. He shined his flashlight inside and did not see Theresa’s Toyota Forerunner, he said... Both men said no incident report was filed and neither contacted Knox to tell her the result of their check on Theresa... Public defender David Dunn requested the two officer’s testimonies be suppressed because he said they conducted their “search” without a warrant... The prosecution argued that the two deputies were performing a “welfare” check; that Knox knew Theresa’s problems with Sam Parker and that Knox’s attempts to reach her did not work; that Theresa expressed fear earlier to Knox that evening and Knox asked someone whom the two women knew mutually to check on her... [Full article here]

SAM PARKER MURDER CASE: BLOOD, DNA EVIDENCE CHALLENGED
CatWalkChatt
by Josh O'Bryant (Walker County Messenger)
Jul 15, 2009
[Excerpts] Pretrial motion hearings resumed Wednesday morning in the Sam Parker murder case, as members from the crime scene investigation, U.S Army crime lab and GBI crime lab testified. Crime scene investigator Audie Wayne Murphy was questioned on taking two blood samples from the bumper, under the latch, of the murder victim’s Toyota Forerunner... Investigator Murphy said he collected the blood samples with a Q-tip. He also took DNA swabs from Sam Parker's mouth and Teresa Parker's toothbrush, to make a match with the blood samples, which were examined in a crime lab... Forensic biologist Ashley Hinkle with the GBI crime lab testified to testing various samples of evidence, including the blood on the bumper, a washcloth with blood on it, dog hair with blood on it, a flashlight, shirt, sweatshirt and towel, to name a few. DNA examiner Jessica Walker with the U.S. Army crime lab and formerly with the GBI, conducted tests on the two blood samples and confirmed the two blood stains were one on top of the other and that the DNA found in the samples were that of Teresa Parker and Sam Parker... Judge Wood said that he would have to read the given accounts of the trials where dogs were used and make a decision after his research into the matter. [Full article here]

DISPATCH SUPERVISOR SAYS SHE GOT STRANGE CALL FROM THERESA PARKER
chattanoogan.com
posted July 15, 2009
[Excerpt] The supervisor for Theresa Parker testified Wednesday she received a strange call from her the morning she disappeared. Rhonda Knox said she got a call about 6 a.m. on March 22, 2007, from Ms. Parker's phone, but the call was disconnected without anything being said. Ms. Knox, who said Ms. Parker had often discussed her stormy marriage and pending divorce from LaFayette Police Sgt. Sam Parker, said she asked an officer to check on Ms. Parker at her home on Cordell Road. An officer said he could not get anyone to the door and he said he peeked inside the couple's garage and Ms. Parker's Toyota 4 Runner was not there... [Full article here]

LAWYERS DEBATE SEARCH OF PARKER HOME
Times Free Press
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
[Excerpts] ...Tuesday's testimony revealed details of evidence gathered by police during searches of Mr. Parker's home and during interviews with the former LaFayette police officer... District Attorney Leigh Patterson worked to persuad Superior Court Judge Jon "Bo" Wood to admit testimony from two cadaver dog experts... Ms. Patterson showed a video of Eddie sniffing for objects that were taken from Mr. Parker's home. The items were hidden around a room. The dog gave a positive response when he sniffed a gun and a pair of jeans. Eddie also detected a scent in Mr. Parker's garage and another expert, Lisa Higgins, said her dog gave a "pretty intense" positive response when investigating Mr. Parker's car... During the testimony, investigators said they had investigated piles of burned material in his yard that Mr. Parker created soon after his wife disappeared. Mr. Dunn noted that tests of the burn piles produced no evidence. [Full article here]

FRIEND ASKED DEPUTIES TO CHECK ON MRS. PARKER
Times Free Press
By: Chloé Morrison
Thursday, July 16, 2009
[Excerpts] LaFAYETTE, Ga. — Walker County 911 operator Rhonda Knox received a call from her friend Theresa Parker’s cell phone early on March 22, 2007, but when she answered, no one spoke. “It was still connected,” she said Wednesday on the third and final day of pretrial hearing in Walker County Superior Court. “I listened, said ‘hello’ several times and then I heard a click. “I just wanted her to be OK. I had a feeling like something wasn’t right,” Ms. Knox said. Mrs. Parker was last heard from on March 21, 2007... Public Defender David Dunn on Wednesday asked Judge Jon “Bo” Wood to exclude evidence about an exterior search of the Parker property triggered by Ms. Knox’s worried state. Ms. Knox testified that Mrs. Parker said she and her husband were divorcing and that she was sometimes afraid of him. Other witnesses testified this week that Mr. Parker was violent on numerous occasions. Ms. Knox said she tried to call her friend many times on March 22 and grew worried. She called and asked a friend, Shane Green, then a Walker County deputy sheriff, to check on Mrs. Parker at the couple’s home on Cordell Avenue in LaFayette. Deputy Green testified that he and another deputy went to the house but didn’t find anyone. They looked in the garage for Mrs. Parker’s car, he said. They saw Mr. Parker’s LaFayette police car in the garage and his truck and boat outside, but Mrs. Parker’s Toyota 4Runner was not there, Deputy Green said... Assistant District Attorney Natalee Staats said the officers acted appropriately. “(Ms. Knox) has every reason to be concerned,” she said. “Her friend had expressed fear, and now she can’t reach her... The question of the 4Runner’s location is important because District Attorney Leigh Patterson said the vehicle was used to take Mrs. Parker to another location. Forensic experts testified Wednesday that DNA from both Mr. and Mrs. Parker was found on the bumper of the 4Runner. Former Georgia Bureau of Investigation forensic biologist Jessica Walker said samples taken from the bumper revealed Mrs. Parker’s blood. Other evidence that showed Mr. Parker’s DNA could have been skin or another material, she said... [Full article here.

OLDER:

GEORGIA: SAM PARKER TALKS ABOUT LIFE IN JAIL [PFFF...]
Times Free Press
By: Chloé Morrison
Friday, April 17, 2009
[Excerpt] ...Her former boss, Walker County 911 director David Ashburn, said he and the emergency operators who knew her still think about their lost co-worker all the time. "You're glad it is moving forward, but still sad that there is no Theresa," Mr. Ashburn said. Mrs. Parker's family is thinking of organizing a prayer request, asking area residents to pray for justice, her brother-in-law John Wilson said. The family can't find closure until they find Mrs. Parker, Mr. Wilson said, adding that Mrs. Parker was just like a sister to him. "Every now and then a tear will come down my cheek thinking about her," he said. [Full article here]

2007 RAW INTERVIEW VIDEO FOOTAGE HERE:
[EXCERPTS] "... [YOU FEEL LIKE THEY'RE READY TO LYNCH YOU?] OH YEAH, YEAH. THE SHERIFF TOLD ME I COULDN'T COME HOME, YA KNOW? AN' UH, THEY TOLD ME THAT I HAD TO HIDE IN A HOSPITAL UNDER AN ASSUMED NAME! AND I DID! AN' IT WAS ALL BECAUSE OF PUBLIC OPINION. I MEAN IT'S, I HAVE NEVER IN MY LIFE EVER THOUGHT, YA KNKOW, THAT THINGS WOULD GO --- SO --- ONESIDED!... LIKE I SAID, YA KNOW, I GOT RAILROADED. I MEAN I GOT - ABSOLUTELY JUST CANNED! YA KNOW - OUT THE DOOR --- AT THE POLICE DEPARTMENT, AND THEN ALL THIS OTHER STUFF COME ABOUT AN' YA KNOW AND I MEAN THEY TOLD, THEY TOLD MY FRIENDS WHO I CAN AND CAN'T TALK TO. THEY TOLD THEM NOT TO TALK TO ME, NOT TO CALL ME! YOU KNOW I I I CAN'T HAVE CONTACT WITH ANYONE. AN' I MEAN IT'S JUS' - YOU'VE GOT TO UNDERSTAND HOW I BEEN TRAINED, AS FAR AS THAT GOES, AN I BEEN WACO'D. I'VE BEEN RUBY-RIDGED BY THE FBI. AN THAT'S, I KNOW THAT'S THE WAY IT IS. I CAN HAVE CONTACT WITH TWO PEOPLE IN MY LIFE, MY SISTER AND MY BROTHER, AND THAT'S IT. AND THAT'S, THAT'S THE WAY THEY DO YOU. I MEAN THAT'S THE WAY THEY DO YOU. THEY ABSOLUTELY TAKE AWAY ALL YOUR INCOME, EVERYTHING THAT YOU'VE GOT, YA KNOW ... I'VE GOT ELEVEN CREDIT CARDS THATS GONE. I'VE GOT MOVIE GALLERY, YA KNOW, SAM'S HOTEL CARD THEY'VE GOT! MY TRUCK TITLE THEY'VE GOT! AND, YOU KNOW, I CAN'T DO ANYTHING! I CAN'T MOVE OFF THIS HOUSE --- UNLESS IT'S JUST, YOU KNOW, TO WHERE I GO! AND THE FBI'S GOING, NO LIKE YOU CAN GO WHEREVER YOU WANT TO! --- HOW? ... I HAVE NEVER IN MY LIFE, YA KNOW, SEEN --- THE --- OTHER SIDE --- OF WHAT I DID! AND I AM SORRY TO SAY, AS, I AM SORRY TO SAY THAT I PINNED A BADGE ON MY CHEST AND, YOU KNOW --- ACTUALLY UPHELD THE LAW! YOU KNOW, I AM! I'D DO ANYTHING ELSE RIGHT NOW BUT BE A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER! ... I'M TRYIN' TO THINK SHE'S ALIVE. I'M TRYING TO THINK SHE'S SOMEPLACE - THAT I JUST WANT TO LET IT GO. NOW I'M STUCK. I'M STILL MARRIED. THIS IS HER PLACE. THIS IS HER LAND. THIS IS ALL THIS STUFF, YOU KNOW. I'M REALLY STUCK, YA KNOW, AS FAR AS THE, YA KNOW, LEGAL RAMIFICATIONS OF EVERYTHING THAT, YOU KNOW, WE HAD GOIN' ON. AN', AN' I WISH -- I WISH SHE'D JUST SIGN THE DIVORCE PAPERS - I TELL THE TRUTH, I DO. I REALLY DO, JUST WISH SHE'D SIGN THE DIVORCE PAPERS AND GOT IT OVER WITH. [DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR WIFE IS?] I THINK I DO. [WHERE IS SHE?] IIIII- I'M NOT GONNA, I'M NOT GOING TO BOTHER IT. I'M NOT. BUT I THINK I KNOW WHERE SHE IS. I MEAN I REALLY DO. [DID YOU HARM HER?] NO!
[YOU DID NOT KILL HER?]
NO! NO NO NO NO NO.
SHE GOT CAUGHT IN A MESS ---
AND IMPLODED. AND THAT'S...
[YOU THINK SHE'S HIDING?] YEAH. [DO YOU THINK SHE'S STILL ALIVE?] YEAH. --- I DO. AN' UH LIKE I SAID I, I THINK I KNOW WHERE BUT UH --- JUST LEAVE IT WITH THAT. IF SHE'S HAPPY FINE. THAT'S FINE. THAT'SSS --- [AFTER 2 MONTHS A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE WORRIED SHE MAY BE DEAD.] I'M NOT EVEN GONNA GO THERE. I'M NOT EVEN GOING TO EVEN THINK THAT. NO. NO. NO. UH, THERE'S CERTAIN THINGS THAT ARE PUT UP THAT --- PUT HER IN CERTAIN PLACES AN' CERTAIN TIMES AN' ALL THIS STUFF AND EVERYTHING LIKE THAT AN' I'M JUST NOT GONNA GO THERE SO LIKE I SAID I'M JUST NOT. UH --- IF SHE'S SOMEWHERE AN' SHE WANTS TO BE THERE AN' SHE'S HAPPY, THEN FINE - NO, I DON'T CARE, BUT, YOU KNOW, I WISH SHE'D TAKEN CARE OF THINGS SHE SHOULD HAVE BEFORE SHE LEFT ..."

In the video Parker mentions he got "canned". He was fired for explosives found 3 weeks after Theresa's disappearance.

LAFAYETTE POLICE OFFICER FIRED FOR HAVING EXPLOSIVES
Chattanooganow, TN
By Chloé Morrison
Friday, April 13, 2007
[Excerpts] Sam Parker, the LaFayette Police Department sergeant who is a "person of interest" in the investigation of his wife's disappearance, was fired today for having plastic explosives stored in his locker at the police station, Director of Public Safety Tommy Freeman said... Mr. Freeman said he questioned Mr. Parker, who said the C4 plastic explosives and blasting caps belonged to the police department and he was storing them. Mr. Freeman said he found no evidence that the explosives belonged to the department and in his 32 years in law enforcement he had never heard of a police department buying plastic explosives. None of the LaFayette police officers are trained to handle such explosives... Mr. Freeman said "no one is above the law" and unlawful behavior will not be tolerated in the department...

PDF FILE: Indictment against Sam Parker and motions from defense lawyers and prosecutors
[police officer involved domestic violence law enforcement georgia murder fatality fatalities canine forensics]

1 comment:

  1. video: (Deputy Shane Green}

    [GA] Sgt Sam Parker murder of wife Theresa murder pretrial hearings wrapup
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8tOy_-5NuU

    ReplyDelete

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