published Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

TN suspect pleads not guilty in package-bomb deaths

LEBANON, Tenn. — A Tennessee man accused of killing his in-laws with a package bomb that exploded in their rural home was at his mother-in-law's bedside before she died from the blast, a pastor said.

Richard Parker pleaded not guilty Tuesday to two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of premeditated first-degree murder and unlawful possession of a prohibited weapon. Authorities said the package bomb exploded in his in-laws home in Lebanon, which is about 30 east miles east of Nashville. The Feb. 10 blast killed 74-year-old Jon Setzer, a retired lawyer, and his 72-year-old wife, Marion, died later at a Nashville hospital.

Parker lived in a home directly behind the Setzers.

Before his arrest, Parker sat for hours at Marion Setzer's bedside along with her other children, said Kevin Ulmet, senior pastor of the Nashville First Church of the Nazarene.

"There was no difference in his demeanor than any of the other children that we could discern at the time," Ulmet said.

At the arraignment hearing, Parker, 49, wore an orange jail jumpsuit and showed little emotion. He told Wilson County Circuit Court Judge John Wootten that he did not have the money to make his $1 million bail.

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