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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/21/2005 5:42:10 AM EDT

Absolutely chilling.

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Jury hears doomed woman's futile pleas

911 tape captures children's struggle with father, gunshots

By LEON ALLIGOOD
Staff Writer

COLUMBIA — The audiotape began with a frantic Freda Elliott telling a 911 operator that her ex-husband, Parker Ray Elliott, had broken into her house with violence on his mind.

The call ended eight, excruciatingly long minutes later with the woman's shout for mercy: "Parker, please don't! Don't hurt my babies!"

Followed by deafening silence.

The 911 tape was the final piece of the state's proof in the first-degree murder trial of Parker Ray Elliott, 43, who is charged with killing his ex-wife, Freda, 42, and the couple's daughter, Rachel, 18.

Previously in testimony, the jury heard from Seth Elliott, 16, the only survivor of the June 24, 2004, attack at the family's home near Culleoka. They also had seen a police-made video of the crime scene, including an image of Rachel's lifeless body lying on her mother's bed and close-up images of .22-caliber cartridges littering the carpet. Rachel and her mother were shot multiple times in the head.

But it was the 911 tape that had a decided effect on the jury of seven men and five women. One member of the panel wiped away tears once, twice, three times. A bailiff offered facial tissues to one alternate juror, who also cried. The remainder of the jury, brought in from Wayne County to hear the trial, listened with pained expressions.

Before the introduction of the audiotape, Circuit Judge Stella Hargrove, outside of the jury's hearing, warned the audience she would not tolerate emotional outbursts while the tape was played. With about 16 of Freda Elliott's family in the courtroom, Hargrove asked spectators to seriously consider whether they wanted to hear the disturbing tape. Most of the woman's family left the room, including Seth.

The defense, knowing the tape probably would have a detrimental effect on its case, had tried to stop its introduction. Assistant Public Defender Shipp Weems argued that Freda Elliott was hiding in a closet in her bedroom at the time of making the 911 call and did not witness what was happening elsewhere in the house.

Weems said this lack of "personal knowledge" had been cause in another case to exclude similar evidence from a jury. The defense, having already admitted that Parker Ray Elliot was the shooter, is seeking a decision based on diminished capacity, in other words, that the man lacked the mental clarity at the time of the shootings to commit first-degree murder. If found guilty, the defendant could receive the death penalty.

But District Attorney General Mike Bottoms noted that near the end of the recorded emergency call, Freda Elliott identified her attacker, her former husband, by name.

Hargrove agreed with the prosecution.

Jurors leaned forward when the "play" button was pushed. Members of the prosecution and defense teams eyed papers on their desks for the most part. Sheriff's investigators in the case, who no doubt had heard the tape many times, leaned over in their seats, elbows dug into knees, hands on their faces.

What the jury heard for eight minutes was a woman frantic for help to save her children from harm as Seth, armed with a Louisville Slugger baseball bat, and Rachel, trying without success to push her father back into the living room, struggled with their father.

At times, the mother's voice was just above a frightened whisper.

"He's going to kill them, hurry."

As the confrontation escalated, as the struggle grew closer to her bedroom, Freda was inconsolable in her panic and fatalistic dread, only made worse when shots reverberated through the small house.

"He's coming. He just shot the gun again. Please! Please!"

Finally, about seven minutes into the recording, it is obvious that the shooter is in the bedroom and knows the frightened woman is in the closet. There is a commotion of a door being broken and shots being fired and Freda's voice shouting her final words.

"Parker, please don't! Don't hurt my babies!"

The defendant, dressed in a blue, long-sleeved dress shirt, his back to the gallery, showed no emotion as the incriminating tape played out. He sat with elbows on the table, his fingers woven together and pressed so tightly against his mouth his knuckles were often white. As the tape neared its grisly conclusion, defendant Elliott's shoulders slowly listed to the left.

"The state closes its case,'' Bottoms told Hargrove after the "stop" button was pushed.

The defense team, led by Public Defender Claudia Jack, begins its case today. She announced the first witness will be an expert, most likely a mental health practitioner. She also told the court that Parker Ray Elliott will not testify in his own defense.

Initially the trial was expected to last at least 10 days, but now is expected to go to the jury before the weekend. •
Link Posted: 9/21/2005 5:46:42 AM EDT
So many believe the police will protect them.
The tape went on for 8 minutes.
That's a long damned time.
Link Posted: 9/21/2005 5:49:10 AM EDT
fry the fucker To many sick fucks running around
Link Posted: 9/21/2005 5:51:02 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Leisure_Shoot:
So many believe the police will protect them.
The tape went on for 8 minutes.
That's a long damned time.



You could have a good size hole going after 7 and half minutes.
Link Posted: 9/21/2005 6:12:58 PM EDT
Bump for the night crew.

Link Posted: 9/21/2005 6:42:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Leisure_Shoot:
So many believe the police will protect them.
The tape went on for 8 minutes.
That's a long damned time.



+1 on all accounts
Link Posted: 9/21/2005 6:51:37 PM EDT
How did the 16 yr. old kid survive? Did he smack his murdering dad in the head with the baseball bat?
Link Posted: 9/21/2005 6:59:37 PM EDT
Yes, I agree. Its so wrong for anyone to believe police can be everywhere.

Patty
Link Posted: 9/21/2005 7:33:44 PM EDT
That is terrible....
Hope he's deep fried..

Link Posted: 9/21/2005 7:41:15 PM EDT

Originally Posted By pattymcn:
Yes, I agree. Its so wrong for anyone to believe police can be everywhere.

Patty



We do not have a constitutional right to individual police protection. You understand that but most sheepeople do not. If someone calls the police and they show up it should be considered a bonus. It is not a knock against police. Yet the sheeple keep trying to ban 'scary' and 'icky' guns.
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