Staff Photo by Tim Barber
Defense attorneys David Dunn, left, and Doug Woodruff go to back of the Walker County Jail on Thursday afternoon as hoards of media swarm in front of the Walker County Courthouse in LaFayette, Ga.
LaFAYETTE, Ga. — Sam Parker showed no emotion this afternoon when he was sentenced to life in prison for murdering his wife, Theresa Parker, in 2007.
The courtroom was packed shortly after 4:30 p.m. Bailiffs stood at the doors and two stood behind Mr. Parker as the verdict was read.
Walker County Superior Court Judge Jon “Bo” Wood warned audience to control its emotions as the verdict was read: Guilty of malice murder. Guilty making false statements. Guilty of violating his oath as a public officer.
Theresa Parker’s family wept softly in their seats, but otherwise the courtroom remained quiet.
The jury was escorted from the courtroom under guard and Judge Wood offered Mr. Parker a chance to comment before he passed sentence.
Mr. Parker said he did not want to say anything.
Judge Wood read the sentence: Life in prison for murder, plus five-year concurrent terms in the other cases.
The Mr. Parker was taken out of the room by a deputy.
Public Defender David Dunn, Mr. Parker’s lawyer, left immediately without commenting.
Mrs. Parker’s family also left without speaking to media.
The verdict came at the end of the third day of deliberation in the trial.
Mrs. Parker was last seen in March, 2007. No body was ever found and Mr. Parker pleaded not guilty.
Prosecutors built their case around circumstantial evidence, developing a timeline showing how Mr. Parker could have committed the crime and disposed of the body.
The defense case centered around the lack of any direct evidence that Mrs. Parker had been harmed or that Mr. Parker had anything to do with her disappearance.
See Friday’s Times Free Press for complete coverage.