Parker murder trial nears end in Ardmore

By: Robin Beal Email
By: Robin Beal Email

ARDMORE, Okla. -- The fate of a Carter County man accused of first degree murder will soon be decided in court. On Monday, both the prosecution and defense rested its cases in the trial of James Eric Parker. Parker faces murder charges in the 2006 killing of Danny Watterson.

A jury of eight men and five women saw a parade of witnesses take the stand on Monday.

Carter County District Attorney Craig Ladd called a sheriff's deputy to testify about the night of Danny Watterson's killing Monday morning. The deputy referred to a diagrammed floor plan of the crime scene -- Watterson's house -- which illustrated locations of shell casings and blood, as well as where Watterson's body was found.

Also in the morning session, the jury got its first look at state's exhibit one, the 9-millimeter handgun that investigators say was used to end Watterson's life.

Dramatic testimony followed from an O.S.B.I. forensics expert who demonstrated how the gun could be fired.

In the afternoon session, it was the defense's turn to call witnesses to the stand. Attorney John Echols called Parker's son, who painted a picture of a father who turned to alcohol after discovering his wife's affair with a co-worker. Later on, a counselor testified that he was "extremely upset…tearful...appeared to be pretty desperate" about his marital problems and wanted desperately to save his marriage.

During a late-afternoon recess, we did witness a moment of joy from the man on trial possibly for his life. He was all smiles when he was able to see his three-month-old grandson in court. It was only the second time the two had met.

Closing arguments are set to come Tuesday morning. The jury should have the case by Tuesday afternoon.

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