Skip to comments.Dad Gets Probation In Drowning Death. Judge: Family Must Be Reunited
Posted on 07/18/2005 5:00:50 PM PDT by ShadowDancer
Dad gets probation in drowning death
Judge: Family must be reunited
By Jason Alley, The News-Herald
PUBLISHED: July 17, 2005
DETROIT Raising three young children by yourself can be much more hectic and stressful than most people realize.
A Wayne County Circuit Court judge used that reasoning Thursday in sentencing a man to five years probation after he was convicted of leaving his 14-month-old daughter in the bathtub to drown as he watched pornography on another level of the house.
Judge Vera Massey Jones also ordered Shawn Paul Parker, 23, of Lincoln Park to undergo parenting classes, counseling and random drug testing.
Initially charged with second-degree murder, Parker pleaded no contest to a lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter to escape the chance of spending the rest of his life in prison.
The manslaughter charge carried a maximum of 15 years' incarceration, but the judge said she felt probation was strong enough.
"Mr. Parker will punish himself more than we could ever punish him," Jones said, adding that she hopes his entire family can soon be reunited.
"They need to pull this thing back together again and it's not going to be easy. (I) pray that the family will become whole again."
Andrea Parker begged the judge not to send her husband to prison, saying it would be unfair to the couple's other two children to be raised without a father. While she didn't live with them at the time, she said, the tragedy has brought them together.
"Our family needs the time to rebuild ... to have as much of a normal life as possible," she said in between sobs.
For the first time since the March 15 drowning, Parker spoke in his own defense Thursday.
"I realize what happened is a tragic accident," he said. "I can't get over what happened. It's really hard to forgive myself. ... I realize what I did was wrong."
During earlier court proceedings, prosecutors painted Parker as a man who has a history of leaving his young children unattended in the bathtub.
While his daughter, Alexis, was drowning in the first-floor bathroom, prosecutors say, Parker was sitting at a computer in his upstairs bedroom looking at pornography and possibly playing video games.
His 5-year-old son, Brian Parker, found the little girl lying in the tub of water in their home in the 2100 block of Goddard.
The preschooler said he was playing with some of his toys that morning when he decided to go into the bathroom to check on his sister and 3-year-old brother, Eddie, who were in the tub together.
"Alexis was tipped over on her belly," the boy said, adding that her head was underwater. He said he "flipped her over" in the tub "to see if she was alive or not" and while doing so discovered the water was cold and noticed she had "blue lips."
The 5-year-old said he went to his father's bedroom upstairs to tell him something was wrong.
"I heard him up there 'cuz of the tapping of the keyboard," the boy testified."I told my dad. He called 911."
Paramedics were called at about 11:20 a.m. and transported Alexis to Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital. After doctors restored her heartbeat, she was transferred to Mercy Children's Hospital in Toledo, where she died the next day.
Nancy Beaudrie testified that she had warned Parker seven to 10 days before the deadly incident about the dangers of leaving children unattended in the tub.
From Mondays to Thursdays for weeks on end, she said, she drove the 5-year-old, her great-nephew, to school and often had the chance to see the other children. On more than one occasion, she said, she saw either Alexis alone or Alexis and Eddie alone in the tub.
Sometimes, she said, the bathroom door was closed, blocking Parker from seeing his children altogether, and at other times the door was slightly ajar.
"I heard them one time crying that they wanted to get out of the bathtub," she said.
Beaudrie said she gave Parker, who lived alone with his three children, some advice.
"I just told him to be careful and that something could happen ... and one of them could drown," she said.
Lincoln Park police Detective William Sant'Angelo said Parker was remorseful when he initially questioned him and at one time he feared the man could be suicidal.
While originally telling officers that he left his children alone in the tub for five to 15 minutes to find them some clothes to wear, Sant'Angelo said, Parker changed his story.
For an hour that morning while his children were in the house, the officer said Parker told him he looked at pornography on his computer. While the two children were in the tub, however, Parker said he was at his computer for only a couple of minutes.
When officers went to Parker's house two days after his daughter died, Sant'Angelo said, there was pornography up on the computer screen as well as marijuana and drug paraphernalia in his bedroom.
Parker's two other children had been removed from his care, but custody was recently given back.
Contact Staff Writer Jason Alley at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 1-734-246-0867.
LP jumped out at me...
This is beyond sickening.
I hadn't heard of this until you posted... right over there on Goddard. Guess my folks had no reason to bring up this in regular conversation...
Beyond sick is right...
I guess it will be a lot less stressful now that he only has to raise two young children by himself.
Moral Absolutes Ping.
There is so much wrong here it's hard to know where to begin. For starters, sometimes "blood" family means squat. Those poor children need to be raised by someone who actually cares about their welfare. Parenting classes do not cut it.
2. Drug paraphenalia - I wonder what kind. Meth?
3. Watching porn instead of his children.
4. Lets little children turn blue in the bathtub as a habit.
5. Was told it was dangerous.
6. Mother not in the home.
These children need a real home with a real husband and wife who long to love and nuture and raise children, not a couple of self centered, blinded-by-lust drug users.
An interesting point is that one of the reasons pro-abortionists use is that "every child should be a wanted child". Oddly enough, child neglect and abuse has increased since abortion became foisted on us via RvW. Since children are now a disposable commodity, their care after running the gauntlet of birth has not improved; rather, the opposite has happened.
Adoption is the answer to this problem. These children need to be taken away from these subhuman scum. Maybe the mother isn't scum; it doesn't say much about her. But if she's a drug user as well, she's scum.
Freepmail me if you want on/off this pinglist.
Final note: Can you imagine how the remaining children are going to live with this memory?
Maybe when another child dies, they'll terminate his rights. Unbelievable. Some people just should NOT be parents.
I agree with you. Excellent post!
The mother IS scum, and I can prove it. She left her three children in the care of a man who she surely knew was a drug user. Case closed.
I agree with you; both the remaining children should be taken out of the home permanently and adopted to parents who could manage to find the time to watch them in the bathtub.
As for this so-called JUDGE ... Dr. Laura commented on this case on the air today, and strongly suggested that if this woman holds an elected position, she should be voted out of office. I concur.
And some people should not be judges!
The Judge should be impeached.
I was just trying not to be judgemental. /end sarcasm.
She was probably doing court ordered rehab which didn't take.
If nothing else, at least her @$$ should be twisting in the wind.
I realize I'm slow on this story, but I have to wonder what the judge's hobbies are? It must be difficult to be hard on a fellow porn watcher (I'm making huge assumptions here, but what else could the judge be thinking???)
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