Trial date set for man accused of killing in-laws with explosive - WSMV Channel 4

Trial date set for man accused of killing in-laws with explosive

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Richard Parker Richard Parker
Jon and Marion Setzer Jon and Marion Setzer

The man accused of killing his in-laws with a homemade bomb is headed to trial later this year.

In February, a bomb made out of a lamp exploded inside the Lebanon home of John and Marion Setzer, destroying everything nearby fatally injuring the couple.

Investigators later arrested the couple's son-in-law, Richard Parker, for the crime.

In court Tuesday, the judge made it clear he wants the case to play out rather quickly. Instead of allowing Parker to waive his right to appear, the judge mandated that he show up in court Tuesday. The judge also asked about evidence and even set a trial date.

According to court documents, authorities moved Parker to a state penitentiary because of safety concerns. He showed up to court shackled and in a maximum security prison jumpsuit.

During the hearing, Parker showed no emotion as the judge and attorneys discussed his fate.

DNA evidence will play a big role in the case, as well as bomb evidence collected by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Investigators will have more than 80 evidence analysis reports, and some aren't even complete yet.

Parker's next hearing is set for June, and the judge set a trial date for Oct. 28.

"It's good to see it moving along, and I'm glad to see the judge is wanting to expedite it like he should. Like I said, it's all about justification for the family and the family still needs our prayers," said Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan.

None of the Setzer family members were in court Tuesday, but one of Parker's previous victims was.

Parker got in trouble for burning another family's home down back in the 1990s, and now that family is wondering if he got off too easily back then.

Danny Martin drove from Giles County to be in the Wilson County courthouse for the hearing. He says back in the 1990s, he got an old piece of property from his wife's parents.

They hired Parker to do work on an old log cabin, but investigators say Parker got in over his head and burned the building to the ground.

Parker was convicted of arson, but got a light sentence in a plea deal.

Now, the Martins wish it had gone differently.

"We felt like we let him off the hook burning our house. He should have gone to jail then and didn't. We just kind of want to see justice be done once and for all and make sure this animal is never back on the street," Martin said.

Parker pleaded not guilty to his charges in the Setzers' deaths in February.

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