No evidence of tampering found in Marshall Co. shooting suspect’s case

No evidence tampering found in Gabriel Parker's case

BENTON, KY (KFVS) - The teen charged in a deadly shooting at the Marshall County High School was in court on Friday, Feb. 1.

Gabriel Parker was at the courthouse in Benton, Ky. at 9 a.m. for an evidentiary hearing on allegations of witness tampering filed by Parker’s defense attorney.

In court, the defense called the following people to the stand for questioning: the attorney for the Marshall County School District for the civil lawsuit, Marshall Mike Owsley, County School Superintendent Trent Lovett, Jonathan Elementary Principal Anessa Roberts, and two teachers.

After the questioning, the judge ruled that no testimony showed witness tampering.

During the proceedings, sealed records from Parker’s school counselor were released to the Commonwealth and to the defense. The records will remain sealed to the public.

Gabriel Parker talks with defense attorney Angela Troutman during recess at a hearing Friday, Feb. 1, 2019. Parker appeared in Marshall County Circuit Court for the hearing, which regarded allegations that an attorney for the school system improperly persuaded witnesses from speaking with a defense investigator. (Source: Pool Image)
Gabriel Parker talks with defense attorney Angela Troutman during recess at a hearing Friday, Feb. 1, 2019. Parker appeared in Marshall County Circuit Court for the hearing, which regarded allegations that an attorney for the school system improperly persuaded witnesses from speaking with a defense investigator. (Source: Pool Image)

At the conclusion of the hearing the judge set a status hearing for Friday, March 8.

Parker faces criminal charges connected to the January 2018 shooting that killed two of his classmates and wounded dozens of others.

The Circuit Court released an order on Friday, March 23, 2018 denying a motion to send the shooting suspect’s case back to juvenile court.

Before the criminal case goes to trial, Parker’s attorney says he will more than likely file a motion for a change of venue.

"I certainly anticipate that a motion for a change of venue will be filed but until I see that motion. I won’t comment on that. Certainly I would like to try the case Marshall County,” said Dennis Foust, Commonwealth Attorney.

"I think it would be almost impossible for him to get a fair trial here in Marshall County and part of that I think we saw it today—today we saw how much pressure this case puts on the citizens of Marshall County,” said Tom Griffiths, Parker’s Attorney.

After the criminal hearing on Friday, proceedings took place on two civil lawsuits against Parker brought by families of the victims.

The judge ordered the court to appoint an attorney to Parker. No other issues were addressed.

The next court date for the civil suits is Tuesday, February 12.

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