Appeals court upholds convictions, sentence against Parker

Published 2:03 pm Friday, January 8, 2010

The N.C. Court of Appeals unanimously upheld on Tuesday the convictions and prison sentence of Polk County resident James Walter Parker.

Parker had been convicted in Polk County Superior Court on December 19, 2008, of attempted murder, and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious bodily injury.

Parker was married to the victim, Bridget Kelly, and had a pattern of threatening to kill her because he thought she was having an affair. &bsp;

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On December 29, 2007, Defendant Parker initiated an altercation with the victim when she sought to deliver Christmas presents to her parents home.&bsp; He confronted her ultimately stabbing her multiple times with a butcher knife while she was unarmed and was trying to run away from him. &bsp;

She was thus wounded in the face and in the back by him, while he repeatedly shouted that he intended to kill her.

When police arrived, she was bleeding profusely from her head and back, and Parker admitted to them that he stabbed her to prevent her from leaving the house and proceeding to her parents home. Parker was arrested at the scene on Pea Ridge Road without incident.

Kelly was transported by the Polk County EMS to Spartanburg Regional Medical Center where she was listed in stable condition. Parker suffered a heart attack and was transported to Mission Hospitals in Asheville.

Superior Court Judge Mark Powell of Hendersonville presided at Parkers trial, and, upon his conviction by the jury, sentenced Parker to 20 years and 9 months in the North Carolina Department of Corrections. &bsp;

The state has projected Parkers expected release date to be December 22, 2027. Parker is currently 51 years of age.

District Attorney Jeff Hunt stated that defendant Parkers criminal acts in this case represent a pattern of domestic abuse and violence which nearly resulted in Kellys murder. Hunt further said: We will continue to give high priority to cases involving domestic violence here in Prosecutorial District 29B.