Emotional day in court in Parker murder trial

By: Robin Beal Email
By: Robin Beal Email

ARDMORE, Okla. – Family and friends shed tears as they looked on in court on Tuesday as the murder trial of James Eric Parker continued at the Carter County Courthouse.

Parker is accused of the 2006 murder of Danny Waterson. Now, jurors are gaining more insight into the mind of an accused killer.

Compelling arguments were made on Tuesday as attorneys for both sides made their closing statements. The jury saw its most intimate look yet into James Eric Parker's state of mind in the months leading up to Danny Watterson's killing

Attorneys say Parker's state of mind is important because that is one of the central points that the jury must consider in choosing what crime to charge him with.

What are the options?

Judge Lee Card told the jurors this morning that they must arrive at a unanimous decision either guilty of manslaughter in the first degree, guilty of murder in the first degree, or not guilty of any charges.

An acquittal would seem extremely unlikely since the defense freely admits Parker killed Watterson on June 29, 2006.

In addition to first degree murder, Parker must also answer to kidnapping and burglary charges.

As far as the atmosphere in the courtroom Tuesday morning, it was extraordinarily emotional at one point when defense attorney John Echols read from Parker's private diary. His son broke down in the audience when he heard what his father had written about how proud he was of his children and his hopes for their future. Then, Parker himself started crying.

The jury seemed to be very aware of the emotions flowing in the room at this point.

What remains to be seen is what influence-- if any-- that might have on their decision.

As the jury deliberates on Tuesday, a verdict could come at any time.


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  • by Jon Location: Ardmore on Jan 16, 2008 at 02:35 PM
    Chris read The Daily Ardmoreite 1/13/08. Jurors listened to 2 jail-recorded phone calls Parker made to his exwife in which he told her he had no remorse in connection with Wartterson's murder and that he should have killed her as well. This is in the days after the murder not at the time it was comitted. Does he have remorse now? I don't know. Question: isn't murder more than just "a terrible mistake"? I'm sure lots of people (including myself) have found themselves in the same situation as Mr.Parker. Is murder the answer? Yes,God will judge us all but right now a jury of Mr.Parker's peers are judging him for breaking man's law which in this case is also God's law.
  • by Chris Location: ardmore on Jan 15, 2008 at 03:53 PM
    That would be right jon, but until your in the situation none of us have the answer of what emotions goes through poeple when certain things come upon them as it did him, of course he made a terrible mistake and hurt many poeple by taking a life, but when did we ever hear he showed no remorse? lets not make assumptions about the defendants state of mind unless you are the one judging, and only god can do that.
  • by Jon Location: Ardmore on Jan 15, 2008 at 02:27 PM
    a person that kills with no remorse deserves just that no remorse. affairs happen all the time is the answer to kill one or both?
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