Sam Parker Murder Trial Underway

Submitted by Bill Mitchell on August 17, 2009 - 5:53pm. News | Crime | Catoosa County News | Walker County News

Two and a half years after the disappearance of Walker County 9-1-1 operator Theresa Parker, her husband goes on trial... charged with murder.

And, it appears the state will produce a surprise witness.

LEIGH PATTERSON, PROSECUTOR "Theresa Parker is not just missing..we intend to prove to you that Theresa is dead. That she was murdered. And we intend to prove that the defendant, Samuel L. the one who murdered Theresa."

Prosecutor Leigh Patterson set the stage for the trial of the former Lafayette Police sergeant, who was estranged from the 41 year old Theresa who had filed for divorce shortly before she was reported missing on March 25 of 2007.

She also told the jury she would put Lafayette police officer and Parker's long-time friend Ben Chaffin on the stand. Chaffin has been charged with computer invasion of privacy, by checking Theresa Parkers computer for messages..presumably at the request of Parker. He was fired from his police job.

DAVID DUNN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY "You gonna help us, or you gonna get prosecuted. Maybe if you help us..maybe your law enforcement carreer is not over, Ben. So Ben remembers...oh, yeah..Sam Talked about killing Theresa" .

Dunn, in opening remarks, also pointed out that despite many body has been found.

Prosecutors called a dozen witnesses setting the stage for what it refers to as the final hours of Theresa Parker.

That testimony brought video from Lowe's where she bought a washer and dryer..and at the Tennessee Valley federal credit union where she got a check to pay for the apartment where was moving after leaving Sam Parkers home.

The jury is not sequestered, but is bused back and forth to Bartow county.

Judge Jon "Bo" Wood has agreed to allow testimony about blood found on Theresa Parker's SUV, but refused to allow evidence gathered from the use of a cadaver dog.

The trial is expected to last about three weeks.

Late afternoon testimony included other witnesses who testified about various people and places that Sam Parker visited during the days after his wife's disappearance on or around March 22rd. The trial continues tomorrow at 9.

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