Local News

Henderson murder suspect's family says he's innocent

Posted September 15, 2008

— The family of a Henderson man charged with murder in connection with the disappearance of his estranged wife says he is innocent and disputes her family's claims of past abuse between the couple.

Robert Sterling Parham Jr., 36, of 671 Club Pond Road, was arrested and charged last week with first-degree murder and first-degree arson after investigators found a body in the ruins of his estranged wife's house, which burned to the ground Thursday.

Vance County sheriff's investigators believe the body is that of Geneva Guin Brown Parham, 34, of 2569 Allison Cooper Drive, although they are awaiting official identification from the state medical examiner. 

During his initial court appearance Monday morning, a judge declined a request by Robert Parham to make a statement about information reported on TV news about the relationship he had with his wife.

Outside court, family members disputed what Geneva Parham's family has said about the couple, but declined to elaborate.

"The other side of this story has not been told, and everybody don't need to try and convict him before they hear all the facts," Robert Parham's sister, Deborah Boyd, said. "And everything that's been saying about him is a lie, and we are mostly concerned about our brother, and we want to do what is right for him and his kids."

Geneva Parham's family, last week, said the couple had been having marital problems for the past few years and that she was in the process of getting a restraining order against him.

"He was very controlling, and we were in the processes of trying to get her out of it," her stepfather, Franklin Dillard said. "Basically, he just kept her under his thumb by the threat of taking her children away from her."

Dillard said Robert Parham frequently showed up at the home and had repeatedly threatened to take their three children and kill her.

Vance County Sheriff Peter White said the Parhams had been fighting last Thursday morning before her house caught fire and that Robert Parham had a wound on his arm that was relevant to the case.

He declined, however, to disclose further details.

"We are sure, in our hearts, that they have got the right man, and I trust in the courts that justice will be served," Geneva Parham's brother, Jeremy Brown, said.


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  • RetGr6 Sep 16, 2008

    I can understand his family wanting him to be innocent. But, time will tell. If he did it then he will pay the price. If he didn't he'll be set free. But, if everything was ok, why was she getting a restraining order? Unanswered questions . . . .

  • Tarheel born Sep 15, 2008

    Please landscaper.....your guilty until you can prove your innocence. The Framers of the Constitution had it right on paper and it keeps us honest-for the most part but it's never really been that way. And for the record, 99% of arrests for murder are right.

  • NCSULandscaper Sep 15, 2008

    i hope i never have any of you people on a jury if i end up in court, innocent until proven guilty has been thrown out of the window. Not saying he wasnt capable of doing it, the only thing any of you can base an opinion on is what the media is telling you, and we know how honest the media is

  • MizzZeta Sep 15, 2008

    Ditto, uscitizen!

  • john283594 Sep 15, 2008

    "And I don't believe he'd say that without some kind of evidence." Re: the sheirff of Vance County making a statement

    This is the same sheirff whose has that drunk daughter and tried to cover up for her? Sure...

  • us-citizen3 Sep 15, 2008

    Geez, did you expect them to admit that he did it???

  • familyfour Sep 15, 2008

    This is such a crock.

    He looks so concerned. He looks so worried about his boys. He looks like he is worried to death about finding the person that killed his wife, since he didn't do it. He looks real concerned about the fact he has no home to live in once he gets out of jail, since he didn't do it.

    PULEEZE. Glad that he's in jail, hope they pin in on him with a skewer.

  • alx Sep 15, 2008

    you know a majority of folks behind bars are "innocent"

  • golonc Sep 15, 2008

    Well, I don't think that they would have him in custody if they didn't have sufficeint evidence against him. His family said they had not been having marital problems, but the restraining order that he had against his wife that expired in July speaks otherwise.

    The suspects family is in denial, as can be expected.

  • Scubagirl Sep 15, 2008

    "Henderson murder suspect's family says he's innocent"

    That's what they all say. Maybe they're right, maybe not-too early to tell