Did a Sandy Springs husband premeditatedly shoot his wife eight times outside their apartment, then knowingly conjure up lies about an alibi and another woman, or was he insane and delusional at the time of the shooting?
One veteran criminal defense attorney thinks Michael Parson should consider a defense centering on the latter.
“The evidence looks very strong as far as a circumstantial evidence case goes,” said Jim Hodes, who is not associated with the Parson case.
Investigators believe Parson, 42, shot his wife Adina outside their Roswell Road apartment on April 20. Court records indicate Parson was engaged to be married to another woman and lied to police about the relationship.
Records also indicate Parson lied to police about his whereabouts on the night of the shooting, telling detectives he was at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Decatur getting cancer treatments, when cell phone records put him at the couple’s apartment complex.
“Given the fact he was living, sort of this double life, that he believe he could get out of a marriage possibly by killing his wife, move on and be happily married to this woman and have no problems, and just keep going, there is the possibility of a delusional type of effect,” Hodes told Channel 2′s Mike Petchenik.
Hodes said if he were Parson’s defense attorney, he would consider the insanity defense.
“When the evidence against your client is as overwhelming as this evidence appears to be, I think you have to look again at all of the possible defenses,” said Hodes.
Hodes points the recent high-profile case against Hemy Neuman, the East Cobb father of three convicted of killing Dunwoody entrepreneur Rusty Sneiderman, as an example of a suspect using a similar defense. A jury ultimately found Neuman guilty, but mentally ill, and a judge sentenced him to life in prison.
A Fulton County grand jury has yet to indict Parson on aggravated assault and other charges. A spokeswoman for the District Attorney’s office told Petchenik that a date hadn’t yet been set for grand jurors to hear the case.
Meantime, Petchenik obtained a Texas Department of Public Safety report that outlines what a trooper found in Parson’s car the night of his May 5 arrest.
The report said Parson “was extremely nervous as if his adrenaline was high,” when pulled over for a minor traffic violation near Tyler, Texas. The trooper noted that Parson was “making quick movements, visibly shaking, fumbling” for his insurance papers. The report said Parson told the trooper he had been in Arizona visiting his brother. A source confirms to Petchenik that Parson was lying to the trooper.
Once the trooper determined Parson was a fugitive, it said he detained the Navy veteran and searched him and the couple’s 2000 Green Honda Civic.
Parson “had a large amount of cash in the front right pocket of his shorts,” the report stated.
The trooper also found two notebooks containing letters to family and to a person named Rachel.
Channel 2 Action News has confirmed through court records she’s the woman to whom police believe Parson was engaged to marry in October.
Parson remains in the Fulton County jail without bond.
His wife, Adina, is recovering at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta where a family friend said she continues to make progress.