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Closing Statements Set to Begin In Former State Trooper's Trial

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CUMBERLAND COUNTY — Closing arguments are set to begin Friday in the trial of a former trooper accused of murder in Cumberland County.

Maurice Parker's attorneys rested their case Thursday without presenting a single piece of evidence.

The State's case, even with 34 witnesses and 135 pieces of evidence, was circumstantial. No one testified they saw Parker pull the trigger, and the murder weapon was never found.

Court watchers say the defense probably thinks there are enough holes in the state's case that they do not have to present any evidence at all. They are hoping that jurors believe there is a reasonable doubt.

Witnesses for the prosecution testified Thursday about the January night in 1993 that Maurice Parker allegedly killed auto shop owner Vonnie Hall.

Witness David Martin told jurors he heard gunfire coming from Hall's dealership, and that he saw Parker's patrol car speeding away from the scene.

Martin said Parker threatened him and his family that he would harm them if he told anyone what he had seen. He says he never called the law to report what he had seen and heard because Parkerwasthe law.

The defense has said all along that Martin is not a credible witness, because he continually changed his story.

Martin testified Thursday that he told police the absolute truth once Parker was arrested, and less of a threat to him and his family.

Also on the stand was SBI agent Michael East who interviewed Parker immediately after Hall's death.

He read to jurors what Parker told him shortly after his arrest. Parker said he had nothing to do the with the murder. He said Michael Hall, a co-defendant, and the prosecution's star witness, David Martin, are responsible for Hall's death.

Prosecutors say Parker killed Hall after Hall confronted him about stealing cars and car titles from Hall's business.