Jerry Parker

Franklin County, Missouri
Date of Crime:  August 10, 1989

Jerry Lynn Parker was convicted of sexually molesting three girls, K.B., age 10, H.R., age 11, and B.C., age 13. He was sentenced to 195 1/2 years of imprisonment. The girls said they were kidnapped at gunpoint from a gazebo in Gerald City Park and forced to walk to a woman's rest room about a block away where they were molested. The girls' story contains numerous implausible or impossible details. A deputy indicated that he did not believe the story. Police undertook no further action on the girls' report until two weeks later when Parker became a suspect. At trial, on cross examination, the Gerald Police Chief conceded his office received over 50 leads and the names of three suspects regarding the alleged assault but Parker was the only person ever questioned about it.

The girls' initial descriptions of the perpetrator and his car did not match Parker or his car. When shown a photo lineup, the girls failed to identify Parker. They were later shown a second lineup in which Parker's photo stood out. H.R. recognized no one in the lineup. B.C. identified Parker. She remarked, however, “The man in the picture was heavier than the attacker, had a ‘double chin’ whereas the man who assaulted her was slender and did not have a double chin.” K.B. identified a person other than Parker as the perpetrator. H.R. then asked to look at the lineup a second time because B.C. had picked someone out and H.R.'s dad asked her if she could look again. After looking at the lineup a second time, H.R. identified Parker.

The police then conducted a live lineup to which they invited Parker's defense attorney to attend, even though Missouri law did not require them. However, at the time of the live lineup, they changed their minds about allowing the attorney to witness it. After the girls viewed the lineup and identified Parker, police congenially staged a repeat of the live lineup so that the defense attorney could witness it.

Parker's first trial ended in a hung jury, but he was convicted at his second trial. Parker had four alibi witnesses who placed him 22 miles away from the crime scene at the exact time of the crime. His defense attorney called the witnesses at his first trial, but inexplicably did not call them at his second trial. Parker had earlier tried to fire his attorney and represent himself, but the judge would not allow him. His attorney seemed incapable of disbelieving the girls' story and would not question them aggressively to show the jury that the girls might be stretching the truth.

The trial judge, who presided over both trials, apparently did not want the second trial to end in another hung jury. To avoid that possibility, he told the jurors a false story about a case where a jury was charged for the cost of the trial because they did not come to a unanimous decision.  [10/07]


References:  Goldstein Report, Mistakenly Identified, Intentionally Convicted

Posted in:  Victims of the State, Missouri Cases, Child Abuse Cases