Lo­cal man sen­tenced in fa­tal stab­bing

Sunday Star - - FRONT PAGE - By JACK RODGERS jrodgers@ches­pub.com

DENTON — A man was con­victed Thurs­day, Oct. 25, of sec­ond-de­gree mur­der in con­nec­tion with a Greens­boro stab­bing that oc­curred in March. The con­vic­tion came af­ter a four-day trial.

Sen­tenc­ing, which was sched­uled for Fri­day, has been post­poned pend­ing a pre-sen­tenc­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion and, as of press time, had not been sched­uled. Parker is be­ing held with­out bond.

Parker, 25, faces up to 40 years of im­pris­on­ment on the con­vic­tion of just the sec­ond-de­gree mur­der charge, as well as five years on un­law­ful tak­ing of a mo­tor ve­hi­cle. Parker also was con­victed on four other

charges: first- and sec­ond-de­gree as­sault, reck­less en­dan­ger­ment and unau­tho­rized re­moval of prop­erty.

Judge Johnathan Newell presided over the case, while Luke Rom­mel, a pri­vate Sal­is­bury lawyer, pro­vided the de­fense. Rom­mel was un­avail­able for com­ment. The jury de­lib­er­ated for four hours. Caro­line County State’s At­tor­ney Joseph Ri­ley said the foren­sic and DNA work done by the Mary­land State Po­lice Foren­sic Sciences Di­vi­sion was ex­em­plary through­out the case.

“The DNA clearly placed Kevin Parker in the ve­hi­cle where the homi­cide oc­curred. It also clearly placed the vic­tim’s blood on his per­son by blood spat­ter on his boots,” Ri­ley said. “The con­nec­tion

of those two things was crit­i­cal to say­ing that be­yond any doubt, not just rea­son­able doubt, but be­yond any doubt that Kevin Parker was the per­son who killed Howard Lan­man.”

Ri­ley said he had spo­ken with the Lan­man fam­ily af­ter the con­vic­tion and said they were happy the sys­tem had worked for them.

“I think they were very pleased with the per­for­mance of all law en­force­ment in this case,” Ri­ley said.

Ri­ley said he be­lieves this case re­flected the con­tin­u­ing drug epidemic through­out the state.

“This was a mur­der that ended up com­ing out of a drug trans­ac­tion,” Ri­ley said. “I think it’s 75 per­cent of our prop­erty thefts prob­a­bly are re­lated to the opi­oid epidemic, cer­tainly when you’re talk­ing about home break-ins ... Now its be­com­ing more and more the im­po­tence for our crimes against per­sons, as well.”

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