On Wednesday, Eric Parker, right, filed a motion to dismiss his attorney, Donna Bolton, less than one week from his scheduled trial. (Becky Campbell/Johnson City Press)
A man charged with attempted first-degree murder in the Valentine’s Day 2012 shooting of a Johnson City woman got what he asked for from a judge Wednesday morning, but it came with a twist.
Eric Parker, 49, represented by attorney Donna Bolton since May 2013, had requested Bolton file a motion she be relieved from the case.
Bolton did as her client requested and Criminal Court Judge Robert Cupp ruled on, and granted, the motion Wednesday. He also chastised Parker, calling the motion a delay tactic.
“I’m not going to continue this case. You’re going to trial just as it’s scheduled,” Cupp said. “You did this last time the same way. We got right at the trial time and all of a sudden your lawyer just didn’t fit your, whatever you want to call it.”
Parker asked to speak. Cupp started to allow it, but changed his mind.
“You can have (Bolton) with you or you can do it by yourself, but we’re going to trial next week,” he said.
Parker responded by saying, “I’ll do it my own self.”
With that, Cupp took Bolton off the case.
Prior to Bolton’s appointment in May 2013, Parker was represented by the public defender’s office. He asked that Assistant Public Defender Bill Donaldson be taken off the case, claiming he had “issues and concerns” Donaldson was not addressing.
Parker was arrested hours after police found the victim lying in the parking lot of the Lions Club, 817 Country Club Court, while on routine patrol.
The woman had several gunshot wounds, and investigators said she had a belt and a phone charger cord around her neck. Parker was arrested later the same day after investigators determined he and the victim were seen leaving a bar at the same time. Police also said they found a loaded handgun in Parker’s vehicle with bullets that matched shell casings found at the scene. The victim’s cell phone was also located in the car, police said.
Investigators initially thought the woman had been raped, but DNA tests of evidence collected at the scene were not a conclusive match to Parker. That led prosecutors to drop three aggravated rape charges originally lodged against Parker.
The trial is set to begin April 29.
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