Parker found guilty on murder charge

By: Robin Beal Email
By: Robin Beal Email

ARDMORE, Okla. -- A Carter County jury found James Eric Parker guilty of first-degree murder, first-degree burglary, and kidnapping on Tuesday after an emotional final day in court.

Parker was convicted of killing Danny Watterson in June of 2006 and kidnapping his wife, Kimberley.

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.

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

Judge Lee Card told the jurors Tuesday 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.

The atmosphere in the courtroom Tuesday morning 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.

Now, the jury will reconvene at 9:30 Wednesday morning to decide if Parker will face the death penalty.

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