Lawyers argue dog evidence in Parker case

LaFAYETTE, Ga. — Lawyers at a motion hearing in the Sam Parker murder case this morning gave their final arguments about whether the judge should allow testimony from cadaver dog experts into the trial.

Walker County Superior Court Judge Jon “Bo” Wood said he would make a decision “well before jury selection,” which begins next month.

District Attorney Leigh Patterson questioned forensic experts who testified that both Sam’s and Theresa Parker’s DNA was found on the bumper of Theresa Parker's car.

She also said that a cadaver dog alerted on that car, which means the dog's reliability is corroborated.

“The dog alerted where her body had been stored before he disposed of it,” Ms. Patterson said.

Assistant Public Defender Doug Woodruff argued that the cadaver dog testimony is scientifically unfounded and should not be admitted. He said it is not enough to infer that DNA trace is the same thing as death, which is what he believes the prosecution will ask a jury to do if that evidence is admitted.

“There is a very distinct possibility of confusion on the part of the jury,” he said. “They could give (dog testimony) undue weight and it is our position that any weight is excessive.”

Just before the lunch break, Mrs. Parker’s friend and co-worker, former 911 operator Ronnie Knox, was detailing the her last conversation with Mrs. Parker before she disappeared on March 21, 2007.

This testimony is leading up to discussion of a March 22 search of Mr. Parker’s home on Cordell Avenue.

See Thursday’s Times Free Press for complete coverage.

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