Parks sentenced to total of 12 years

Friday, March 6, 2015

By Karen Hall


A Fayetteville man was sentenced to 12 years by Judge Forest A. Durard Jr. in Circuit Court Wednesday.

Jordan J. Parks, 20, was found guilty by a jury of theft over $1,000 and escape after a one-day trial earlier this year.

Represented by the Public Defender's Office, Parks waived his right to appeal the verdict and the sentence.

"You have a terrible criminal history," Durard said to Parks.

"I would be justified in giving you 12 years on the escape and six years on the theft and stacking them one on top of the other."

Instead, Durard decided to let the sentences run at the same time. Thus Parks has an effective sentence of 12 years, of which -- as a "career" offender -- he must serve 60 percent before being eligible for a parole board hearing.

Parks already has a Lincoln County sentence which ends in 2018, and the 12 years will be served after that.

Durard urged Parks to get as much education and training as possible while he was in prison, and Public Defender Bill Harold reported Parks is already enrolled in numerous programs at Northwest Correctional Complex.

Several of Parks' family members were in the courtroom, and there were emotional scenes as he conferred with his attorneys before being sentenced.

Parks' mother even wrote Durard a letter, and this was given to the court reporter to type into the record without being read aloud.

"I understand your mother's plea, but I have to go by the law," Durard said.

According to documents in his case file, in August 2014, Parks was in the Marshall County Jail as part of former Sheriff Norman Dalton's arrangement to house prisoners for the Tennessee Department of Corrections.

Dalton allowed Parks to go out on work release to a man who had a farm on Holly Grove Road. Parks knew the man because he'd worked for him before he got into trouble.

The property owner picked him up from the jail about 8 a.m. Aug. 17, a Sunday, and took Parks to the farm to do a day's work.

"Around 3:30 p.m. he told Mr. Parks to go to the barn behind the residence to clean the stalls, feed the horses, and to put the horses up ... (he) told Mr. Parks that supper would be ready at 5:30 p.m. and they would eat," wrote Marshall County Sheriff's Deputy Drew Binkley in the original crime report.

But when the man went to look for Parks to tell him the food was ready, Parks was gone, and so was a red 1996 F250 Ford pickup truck worth $15,000 and a Samsung cell phone.

Parks later admitted he drove the truck to Fayetteville to see his girlfriend.

Once the truck was reported stolen, law enforcement was on the lookout for it throughout the region.

Lincoln County officers spotted the truck in Fayetteville and took Parks into custody that Sunday evening.

"That was a completely stupid thing to do," exclaimed Durard.