Judge declares mistrial in 2011 murder case; new trial set for June

CROCKETT COUNTY, Tenn. — A murder trial for a man charged in the shooting death of an elderly woman was set to continue Tuesday morning after being delayed last week. Those plans changed when a judge declared a mistrial in the case.

Before declaring a mistrial Tuesday in the long-awaited trial for Daniel Parker, Judge Clayburn Peeples addressed everyone in the courtroom.

“I know you’re very frustrated as we are that we were not able to complete this trial,” Judge Peeples said.

Parker is charged with first-degree murder and murder in perpetration of a felony in the 2011 fatal shooting of 89-year-old Frances Lilley.

Parker’s attorney, Daniel Taylor, requested the trial be postponed for defense witness Steven Baker.

“Learned late yesterday through various sources that Mr. Baker is going to be in the hospital for at least a couple weeks,” Taylor said. “He’s still in serious condition and will not be available.”

State prosecutors said Baker appeared in court Monday through Wednesday of last week and was admitted to the hospital Thursday. Judge Peeples stated that Baker’s health condition is the reason why the case was continued until Tuesday morning.

Predicting that the trial would wrap up Tuesday, state prosecutors said they objected to the mistrial but said the judge thought it was fair.

Assistant District Attorney General Jason Scott said all evidence will be resealed and taken back to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation until the new trial begins.

“The gun and the shells and the bullet that killed Ms. Lilley and the box that the gun was originally in,” Scott said.

The families of Lilley and Parker both declined to comment on the case until a verdict has been reached. A new trial date has been set for June 26, and new jurors will have to be selected.

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