Shooting case sees 4 charges dismissed

Becky Campbell • Feb 23, 2012 at 10:16 PM

Some charges against a Johnson City man charged in a shooting last week were dismissed at his preliminary hearing Thursday.

Eric L. Parker, 47, 140 Tucker Lane, Johnson City, was arrested in the case and originally charged with attempted first-degree murder, three counts of aggravated rape and one count of especially aggravated robbery.

Sessions Judge James Nidiffer dismissed the rape and robbery charges because he said the state had not presented probable cause that Parker committed those offenses.

It’s not unusual for such a dismissal, and once the state has forensic evidence back from the crime lab, it’s likely the charges will be indicted by a grand jury.

As for now, Parker is only charged with attempted first-degree murder.

Prior to Nidiffer’s ruling, the judge heard testimony from several officers and two other witnesses.

Everette Frye, who owns Everette’s Saloon and Grill, testified he knows Parker and the victim from them patronizing his establishment. Frye said he saw the woman get into a silver Cadillac, but didn’t know who else was in it.

That vehicle, according to Johnson City police, belongs to Parker.

Officer Aubrey McElroy testified he found the victim lying in the Lions Park parking lot in the early morning hours of Feb. 14.

McElroy said the woman was almost nude, appeared to have been beaten, had several bullet wounds and had a black leather belt around her neck.

The woman was alive, but could barely speak because her face was so swollen, he said.

When McElroy loosened the belt to help the woman breathe, he also found a cell phone charger cord wrapped around her neck, he said.

Several other officers testified about their assignments in the case and how the investigation led to Parker.

Once officers identified the woman, they learned she had been at Everette’s the night before and she had a cell phone.

At Everette’s police obtained a description of the vehicle and also questioned employees at the next door bar, Encore.

There, they learned the vehicle was owned by a man named Rick, police said.

From that point, officers were able to tie Parker to the vehicle and use the victim’s cell phone GPS to locate it.

The phone “pinged” near Carroll Creek and Englewood, investigators said.

After locating Parker’s car in front of a residence on Englewood, police arrested him when he walked out of the house.

Officers had the vehicle towed to the city’s impound lot and used the phone GPS again and it “pinged” at the lot, police testified.

Investigator Thomas Dillard testified he interviewed Parker, who initially denied the woman was in his car.

When Dillard asked Parker questions later, Parker told him, “I blacked out,” Dillard said.

Sherry Corby, Parker’s girlfriend, also testified and was shown two photographs of items found at the scene — the black leather belt and a cell phone case.

Corby said both items looked like ones Parker owned.

In searching Parker’s Cadillac, police said they found a handgun with blood on it, two beer cans of the same size and type as cans found at the scene and a box of Marakov 9 mm bullets in the back seat.

Police found Marakov shell casings at the scene.

After binding the attempted murder charge to a grand jury, Nidiffer ruled Parker’s $200,000 bond would not be reduced.

Parker will appear in criminal court later on the charge.

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