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Parker double murder trial on track for October (with video)

Jared Felkins jfelkins@lebanondemocrat.com • Dec 17, 2015 at 6:41 PM

Richard Parker, the son-in-law accused of killing his in-laws with a package bomb that exploded Feb. 10 at their Vance Lane home, appeared Friday before Circuit Judge John Wootten to hear preliminary motions from prosecutors and defense attorneys.

A Wilson County grand jury indicted Parker, 49, less than a week after an explosion that killed Jon and Marion Setzer. He is charged with two counts of premeditated first-degree murder, two counts of felony first-degree murder and one count of unlawful possession of a prohibited weapon. He was arraigned Feb. 18, where he pleaded not guilty.

At a previous motions hearing in early April, Wootten expressed his intent to move the case along and set a trial date for Oct. 28.

At Friday’s hearing, Wootten repeated his intent to keep the case on track for trial in late October.

“I want to move this trial along expeditiously,” Wootten said. “…I also wanted to make some inquiries into the lab results from the ATF and federal agencies.”

Assistant District Attorney Jimmy Lea said prosecutors awaited lab results from one piece of evidence from the state lab. He also said federal authorities had assured him all lab results would be available before Aug. 1.

“I think everybody will be ready,” said Lea after the hearing Friday. “The judge made that pretty clear at the beginning that we needed to move this case along, and that’s what we’re doing.”

Wootten also granted or indicated he would grant several typical preliminary motions made by both state and defense attorneys, including discovery, sufficient notice of evidence, witness lists and Jencks material or documents relied upon by government witnesses who testify at trial.

Wootten set a third motions hearing for Aug. 5 at 9 a.m. to look at “more substantive motions.”

Parker remained in Wilson County Jail on $1 million bond following an indictment and arrest Feb. 13 for charges of killing his in-laws with an explosive device that detonated at their home just outside of Lebanon. Jon Setzer was killed at the scene and Marion Setzer succumbed to injuries Feb. 12 after she was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center via LifeFlight helicopter.

Parker was taken into custody following a three-day investigation by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, and a Wilson County special grand jury indicted Parker.

Parker and his wife, Laura, lived next door to the Setzers. Their home was situated behind the Setzer home on 20 acres. Laura Parker was not named as a suspect in the case.

According to authorities, Richard Parker has one arson conviction in Giles County from 1993. He served four years of probation following his conviction.

Richard Parker owned Legacy Restorations. The business is listed at 576 Vance Lane, the same address as the Parker home.

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