Local News

Fayetteville Jury To Decide Life Or Death for Former Trooper

Posted October 11, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT

— Life in prison or death? A jury must decide the fate for former state trooper Maurice Parker. Friday, jurors convicted Parker of killing auto repair shop owner Vonnie Hall.

Closing arguments in the sentencing phase will begin Tuesday morning. Jurors could start deliberating by mid-afternoon.

Monday, the jury heard compelling testimony from Parker's friends and family. In an effort to save his life, his loved ones took the stand and described him as a mentor and a role model to his children and to the young people in his church.

The tears flowed down Parker's face as many of his fellow church members talked about his love and generosity. Even after he was charged with murder, they say Parker remained active in his church's prison and youth ministries.

"He's been an encouragement even through all the things he's been going through," said Parker's friend Christian Rhodes. "He was still able to keep his head high. He was still able to push the Word of God."

Parker was described by many as a role model despite being convicted of killing garage owner Vonnie Hall.

That did not sit well with prosecutors.

Parkers brother described the former trooper as a loving husband and father. He says he has always been close to his younger brother.

"When he's happy, I'm happy," said Parker's brother Renaldo Parker. "When he's hurting, I'm hurting."

Hall's loved ones say they are hurting. They told jurors life has been difficult without him.

His son says it has been especially tough for one of his children who has trouble sleeping.

"He did not want anything to happen to me like what happened to his grandaddy," said Clyde Hall. "He wanted some way of knowing that I would come home off of a wrecker call, but therefore it got to the point that I could not leave home at night."

Hall's widow would like to see Parker die for his actions. But she says that even if Parker gets life in prison, she still believes he will suffer.