Family members and friends of Theresa Parker, including her mother Claire Careathers (left), exit the courtroom following a motions hearing Friday at the Walker County Courthouse in downtown LaFayette.

Family members and friends of Theresa Parker, including her mother Claire Careathers (left), exit the courtroom following a motions hearing Friday at the Walker County Courthouse in downtown LaFayette.

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Sam Parker

Sam Parker

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Theresa Parker

Theresa Parker

 

A change of venue motion was delayed today in a motion hearing in the Theresa Parker murder case, though presiding Judge Jon Boling Wood OK’d a state motion for a videotaped deposition of a material witness.

Floyd County District Attorney Leigh Patterson made a motion for the video deposition of 71-year-old Alice Virginia Cordell. Patterson called Dr. Ted Scoggins of LaFayette to testify on the woman’s health condition and why it could be potentially hazardous to her health to attend the trial and testify.

Cordell suffers from heart disease, emphysema, frailty, anxiety and panic disorders, according to Scoggins. Scoggins said Cordell is a patient of his and that she is physically and mentally unable to attend the trial.

“Coming here scares her,” Scoggins said.

Public defender David Dunn questioned Scoggins on whether Cordell is fearful to attend because she cannot physically do so, or whether it was her testimony that scares her. Scoggins said that both were factors.

Scoggins told Patterson it would be better for Cordell to give her deposition at her own residence.

Dunn said the witness should be brought to court like everyone else, so the jury can be able to hear her testimony, and view her body language and whether she makes eye contact, and so on.

Wood granted the motion of holding a video deposition at Cordell’s residence, unless her health improves enough for her to attend trial.

The change of venue motion, filed last year by the defense, has been delayed until the next motion hearing, scheduled for May 15.

Theresa Parker’s family were among about 50 people who attended the hearing. Appearing in court, Sam Parker, charged with murder in his wife’s disappearance, was not handcuffed or shackled, and was clean-shaven. He wore a navy, long-sleeve shirt and dark slacks.

Theresa Parker, a dispatcher with Walker County 911, has been missing since March 21, 2007.

Her husband Sam, a sergeant with the LaFayette Police Department at the time, immediately became a “person of interest” in his wife’s disappearance. In February 2008, Sam Parker was charged with the murder of his wife.

In April 2007, Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit district attorney Herbert “Buzz” Franklin disqualified his office, which is headquartered in LaFayette, from the case. The case was turned over to the Floyd County district attorney’s office in Rome, with Patterson in charge.

Article Courtsey of RNT