A trial date for Richard Parker, the man accused of placing an explosive device which killed his in-laws, Jon and Marion Setzer, this past February, has been set for Tuesday, Oct. 28.
Parker, who is being held at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville, appeared in Judge John Wootten Jr.’s courtroom on Tuesday for a motions hearing in which the trial date was set.
Parker last appeared in Wootten’s courtroom on Feb. 18, when he pleaded “not guilty to the two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of premeditated first-degree murder and unlawful possession of a prohibited weapon. During the hearing, Wootten had commented that he hoped to move the case along swiftly and reiterated his thoughts again on Tuesday.
“We are here about a schedule. I let everybody know I wanted to move this along. I need to know where we are in discovery,” he said.
Prosecutors, Assistant District Attorneys Brian Fuller and Jimmy Lea, said that they had provided 83 investigative reports and two discs to Parker’s public defenders, including Bill Cather who represented him on Tuesday morning; however, they were still waiting on some DNA evidence and evidence related to the explosive device to come back from state and federal labs.
Lea said they hoped to have the labs back in June.
“I’d like to have a trial date set. Otherwise it is going to be an elusive concept,” Wootten told Cather. “I want to expedite things here for your client and the state. I would expect this would take a few days to try. We all need to move along … fair enough?"
Wootten also noted that he was going to unseal the court file that had requested to be remained sealed.
The next motions hearing for Parker is set for Friday, June 20, at 10 a.m.
According to initial Tennessee Bureau of Investigation reports, an unknown package containing an explosive device was placed at the Setzers’ home on Monday, Feb. 10. Jon Setzer was killed immediately. Martion Setzer was LifeFlighted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center for critical injuries and died two days later.
Parker, 49, married to the Setzers’ daughter Laura, resided with his wife behind the Setzers’ property on Vance Lane prior to the incident. Parker owned and operated Legacy Restorations, Inc. According to the Legacy Restorations website, the company began in 1989 and offers historic restoration services in Tennessee and the surrounding states. The address the Parkers shared with the Setzers is also listed as the business address.
His past criminal history includes being convicted of arson in the early nineties in Giles County while renovating a cabin. Parker was given four years’ probation and paid $40,000 restitution.
Staff Writer Sabrina Garrett may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.