Attorneys say DNA tests not conclusive match for rape charge in atttempted murder case

Becky Campbell • Oct 15, 2012 at 1:25 PM

DNA tests from evidence at a rape and assault scene are not a conclusive match to the man charged in the case, attorneys said during a court appearance Friday.

Eric L. Parker, 47, is charged with attempted first-degree murder and three counts of aggravated rape, charges that stem from a Valentines Day 2012 assault on a Johnson City woman.

Parker is accused of beating a woman, raping her and leaving her lying nude in the parking lot of the Lions Club in February.

Johnson City Police Department Patrolman Aubrey McElroy found the victim lying in the Lions Park parking lot in the early morning hours of Feb. 14.

McElroy testified at the preliminary hearing that 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.

Parker’s attorney, Assistant Public Defender Bill Donaldson asked Washington County Criminal Court Judge Robert Cupp to reduce his client’s $200,000 bond based on the new information.

Assistant District Attorney Erin McArdle argued against the reduction because of Parker’s background and his ties to New York.

McArdle noted that Parker is scheduled for a sentencing hearing in Sullivan County next month on an aggravated assault of a woman that happened six months before the Johnson City woman’s assault.

Cupp reduced the bond to $50,000, but made it a corporate bond through a bonding company. That means the bond would cost Parker $5,000 that would not be refunded.

Parker was arrested in the case after officers backtracked the victim’s whereabouts the previous night and learned she had been at Everette’s Bar & Grill.

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 GPS on the victim’s cell phone — which was missing — 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.

Parker’s next court date is scheduled for Jan. 7.

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