Local News

Woman Alleges Years Of Abuse Drove Sons To Murder Husband

Posted December 17, 2000

— A family has been torn apart by beatings and a bullet. A woman alleges years of abuse by her husband may have pushed their children to kill.

Cynthia Parker is in a position most mothers could not imagine. Richard Dale Parker, her husband of more than 18 years, was shot and killed. Her two sons are charged in connection with his murder.

"I never thought it would come down to this. It's hard to believe he's gone," she says.

Parker found her husband dead on the living room coach early Sunday morning. He was shot at point blank range while he slept.

"I called his name, and he didn't answer. He didn't move," she says.

Sheriff's deputies say they have responded to a number of domestic calls at the Parker house. Parker admits she and Dale had a rocky relationship, and that bothered her 14-year-old son. He was home during the last violent argument the night before the murder.

"He was sleeping on the couch and woke up about the time he saw his Daddy swing to hit me, and I reckon that made something snap inside him," she says.

"After a careful investigation, we charged two juveniles each with one count of murder and conspiracy to commit murder," says Cumberland County Sheriff Moose Butler.

Jeremiah Robinson, 17, and Gene Flynn, 20, were also charged in the crime. Flynn is Cynthia's son from a previous relationship. He is charged with felony accessory after the murder. Parker says she will focus her attention on her younger son and ask herself what went wrong.

"All I can do is stand by my son the best I can, and be there for him," she says.

All four males are being held at the detention center and the Cumberland County jail. Parker says her husband was the backbone of the family, and although he was a strict father, he loved his kids.

She also says her family needs donations to help with the funeral arrangements. If you would like to help, you can send them to the Cape Fear Crematory in care of the Parker Family.

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