Sam Parker, indicted Tuesday on a murder charge in the disappearance of his wife, Theresa Parker, will be represented by the Lookout Mountain Public Defender’s office, Chief Public Defender David Dunn confirmed.
Mr. Parker appeared before Chief Magistrate Jerry Day in LaFayette, Ga., Monday and heard the charges read, which include three charges related to action during the nearly 11-month investigation into the 911 dispatcher’s disappearance.
After the brief hearing Tuesday, Mr. Parker was returned to the Floyd County Jail, where the former LaFayette police officer is being held for his own safety.
He awaits a bond hearing.
Mr. Dunn said he has known the former officer for “a while.”
On Tuesday evening, Mr. Dunn said, “Yes, at this point our office is handling the case. I’ve not even talked with Sam yet. One of my assistants interviewed him.”
Earlier Tuesday, Mr. Parker heard the additional charges of making false statements, computer invasion of privacy and violation of oath by a public officer.
He was arrested about 10 a.m. Monday on a malice murder charge in the highly publicized case.
The new charges are the same that his friend and former co-worker Harbin “Ben” Chaffin faces. The two worked the same shift on the small police force.
Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson said Mr. Parker’s paperwork has been sent to Superior Court, and it would be up to the defender to request a bond hearing.
Mr. Dunn could not say when or if a bond hearing will be scheduled until after he talks to his client.
The case has been an emotional one for LaFayette, where many people knew both Mr. and Mrs. Parker.
The same is true for those in the legal system. District Attorney Buzz Franklin removed himself and his office from the case because of potential conflict, and Rome Circuit prosecutor Leigh Patterson was appointed.
Tuesday Mrs. Parker’s sister, Hilda Wilson, said she too, was feeling torn.
“I was extremely emotional yesterday. I was feeling sorry for him, and that made me so mad that I was feeling sorry for him,” she said about Mr. Parker.
Mrs. Wilson, who is not related to Sheriff Wilson, said she still hopes to find her sister to give her a proper burial.
Progress in the case is encouraging, butthe weight of the loss is almost too heavy to bear, Mrs. Wilson said.
“As human beings we want justice,” she said. “No matter what happens, it is not going to bring Theresa back. I really wish I could just make it all go away. But we have to live with it.”