Status hearing on Gabe Parker case rescheduled due to court changes because of COVID-19

Published: Mar. 24, 2020 at 5:30 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MARSHALL COUNTY, Ky. (KFVS) - A status hearing that was scheduled for Friday, March 20 was continued until Monday, April 13.

According to the Dennis Foust, the Commonwealth attorney for Marshall and Calloway counties, it was moved due to court changes because of the novel coronavirus.

A status conference hearing in the Marshall County High School deadly shooting was held on Friday, November 15.

According to Commonwealth Attorney Dennis Foust, during the hearing, all parties verified in court that the trial will start on June 1, 2020 in Christian County. There will be a jury pool and also a backup jury pool in case the first one doesn’t have enough people to seat a jury.

All pretrial hearings leading up to the trial will continue to be held in Marshall County.

The judge announced his decision to deny the defense motion to throw out key evidence on Thursday, October 10.

The evidence in question included a videotaped interview with suspect Gabriel Parker shortly after the shooting. The defense argued the taped interview should be thrown out, alleging Parker was not read his Miranda Rights and involuntarily gave his statement.

The judge ruled that is not the case.

The defense also argued Parker was denied his right to an attorney, but the judge ruled against that claim, as well.

Parker is set to go on trial on June 1, 2020.

In September, the judge signed off on giving more time to Gabe Parker’s defense attorneys to file arguments in the suppression hearing.

According to Commonwealth Attorney Dennis Foust, the new deadline for the defense was Friday, September 13.

He said the prosecution had another week past that, which is Friday, Sept. 20, to respond.

By Monday, Sept. 16, both submitted their arguments to the Commonwealth.

Foust said this does not affect any timelines in the case and it was mutually agreed to by both parties.

On July 15, attorneys for Gabe Parker filed a motion to suppress statements that the accused high school shooter made on the day of the shooting.

The Commonwealth of Kentucky responded to that motion. The response was filed on Thursday, Aug. 1.

Court documents stated that the Commonwealth does not agree with information set out in the attorney’s motion.

Read the Commonwealth’s full response HERE.

A judge considered the attorney’s motion at a hearing on Aug. 19.

As of 11:45 p.m. on Aug. 19 witnesses were still being questioned.

The Commonwealth refers to the information in that motion as “inaccurate or taken out of context.”

The Commonwealth provided the following arguments:

  • The defendant was properly advised of his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination. His statements should be admitted at the trial of this matter.
  • Police obtained a voluntary, knowing and intelligent waiver of Parker’s rights under Miranda v. Arizona.
  • Law enforcement officers did not disregard the Commonwealth’s parental notification statute. Even so, Parker’s statement’s would not be rendered involuntary if the statute was disregarded
  • The defendant’s statements should be admitted at the trial of this matter as he was not denied his Sixth Amendment right to counsel

Documents stated the Commonwealth considers the actions of law enforcement after the shooting to be in accordance with the law. The Commonwealth said officials did everything to protect Parker and his rights.

According to documents, the Commonwealth believes that attorney’s attempt to make the interview between law enforcement and Parker seem coercive. The Commonwealth said this is not consistent with the reality of the situation.

Documents also stated the court should disregard entire sections of the motion and calls into question statements presented as facts by attorneys.

Two students were killed and more than a dozen others were hurt in the January 2018 shooting.

Copyright 2019 KFVS. All rights reserved.