published Saturday, August 29th, 2009

Parker chooses not to testify

by Chloé Morrison

Article: Parker niece: 'She was the glue in the family'

Article: Theresa Parker laid to rest

Article: Crowds gather to grieve with Parker family

Article: Funeral services set for slain Walker County dispatcher Theresa Parker

Article: GBI confirms Parker was a homicide victim

Article: Examination of Parker bones complete

Article: Examination of Parker’s remains complete

Article: Keychain led to ID of Parker

Article: Theresa Parker's remains finally found

Video: Theresa Parker's body found

Article: Family relieved that Theresa Parker's remains have been found, sheriff says

Article: Find brings back ‘hurt’

Slideshow: Theresa Parker's remains finally found

Article:Parker trial turns media spotlight on Walker County

Article: Jury deliberations continue in Parker slaying trial

Article: Testimony gives insight into culture of police

Article: Parker chooses not to testify

Article: State rests its case against former officer Sam Parker

Article: Witnesses testify to violence, threats by Sam Parker

Article: Officers express doubts on Parker

Article: Friend says Parker acted normal on trip

Article: Cadaver dogs out of Parker trial

Article: Friend asked deputies to check on Mrs. Parker

Article: Judge keeps Parker in jail

Article: Chattanooga: Judge denies separation of charges for Parker

PDF: Indictment against Sam Parker and motions from defense lawyers and prosecutors

Article: Georgia: Sam Parker talks about life in jail

Article: Investigators use robotic camera to search well, Blue Hole for clues or body of Theresa Parker

Judge denies bond for Sam Parker

Parker bond pending judge’s decision

Parker facing more charges

Husband arrested in missing dispatcher case

Walker County 911 dispatcher missing since March 21

International investigator, K-9 dog join Parker search

Dispatcher's family plans vigil to keep search alive

Officer to face extradition on charges in missing dispatcher case

LaFayette Police officer fired for having explosives

Sheriff starts tip line for Parker case

Dispatcher's family tries to move on as questions persist

Message boards new turf in Parker case

Missing dispatcher fundraiser planned

New prosecutor accepts missing woman case

Missing woman's husband fired

Dispatcher's friend keeps busy with vigils, fundraisers

Family of missing woman announces launch of Web site

Theresa Parker family creates Web site

Illinois case mirrors Parker's

Mrs. Parker's 911 job filled

LaFayette officer suspended without pay

Husband of missing dispatcher Theresa Parker says he's been singled out unfairly

Search continues for dispatcher

LaFayette officer charged with making false statements in Parker investigation

When a loved one is missing

Pond draining comes up empty

Authorities draining pond in dispatcher search

Benefit for missing woman seeks smiles

Lawyer to Parker: Stop talking

LaFAYETTE, Ga. -- Denise Parker told the jury Friday that her high school sweetheart turned ex-husband Sam Parker never abused her during their marriage of nearly 10 years.

"He was always quiet and gentle and loving," she told Mr. Parker's lawyer, public defender David Dunn.

Mr. Parker, a former LaFayette police sergeant, is charged with killing his third wife, Theresa Parker, in March 2007. Denise Parker was the last witness called before the defense rested its case Friday. Closing arguments begin Monday morning.

The day's proceedings ended abruptly Friday after the testimony of the only defense witnesses -- Ms. Parker and Martha Lewis, who lived on the same street as the Parkers. At that point, Mr. Parker told Judge Jon "Bo" Wood that he would not be taking the stand.

"My decision is not to testify," Mr. Parker told the judge.

With that, the defense rested.

"That means the evidence in this case is closed," Judge Wood told the jury. (Monday) we will have closing arguments followed by the charge of the court. I caution you that, even though the evidence is closed, do not try to arrive in a verdict in your own mind."

During cross-examination by District Attorney Leigh Patterson, Ms. Parker also testified that she had witnessed Mr. Parker's temper and that her husband hid his drinking from her.

The young couple began dating when Ms. Parker was about 14 and Mr. Parker was 17. They married just out of high school and moved to Virginia, where he began his military career as a Marine. A few years later the couple moved to back to Trion, Ga.

Mr. Dunn questioned most of the defense witnesses about what it was like to grow up in the sleepy mill town of Trion in the '60s and '70s and about Mr. Parker's parents.

"They were the greatest people in the world," Ms. Parker said about her former in-laws. "They were the mother and father everyone would have loved to have."

After moving back to Trion, Mr. Parker worked in the cotton mill for a short time, but he wasn't happy, his ex-wife testified.

"He said that wasn't the life for him," she said.

Ms. Parker was in the antique business and traveled to antique shows on the weekends. Mr. Parker found work at the LaFayette Police Department working the late shift, and Ms. Parker said conflicting schedules took a toll on the marriage.

Under cross-examination, Ms. Parker said her husband resented that she made more money than he did. She also acknowledged that she was once afraid of him after he gave her a chilling look because he blamed her for getting less on their tax return than he was expecting.

Earlier Friday, Mr. Dunn called Mrs. Lewis to the stand. Mrs. Lewis, who lived on Cordell Avenue where Sam and Theresa lived, said on the evening of March 22, 2007 -- the day after Mrs. Parker was last seen -- she saw two strange men in the Parkers' garage, which was detached from the home.

When questioned by Ms. Patterson, Mrs. Lewis' statements about the color of the truck the men drove and their physical descriptions contradicted what she previously told investigators.

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
please login to post a comment

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.