Man pleads guilty in explosion that killed in-laws - WSMV Channel 4

Man pleads guilty in explosion that killed in-laws

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Richard Parker Richard Parker
LEBANON, TN (WSMV) -

The man accused of killing his in-laws with a homemade explosive at their Lebanon home pleaded guilty to charges on Tuesday morning.

Richard Parker pleaded guilty to two counts of premeditated murder and will serve two consecutive life sentences without parole.

"The court sentences you, in accordance with that plea and this agreement, to life without parole on each of these counts of first-degree murder," Judge John Wooten, Jr., said.

It was revealed in court on Tuesday that Parker owed a substantial amount of money to his father-in-law that was due in November and was stressed about his upcoming debts. Parker told police he stole a check from his father-in-law and forged it to get $12,000 out of his account at a Murfreesboro bank.

Attorneys said Parker purchased the items for the bomb from Walmart and put the bomb in a lamp inside a cardboard box, printed out his own FedEx shipping labels and left instructions with the lamp for his in-laws to plug it in, which caused the explosion.

"He also set this up to make it look like a functioning, actual lamp with a socket," Assistant District Attorney General James Lea said. "However, it was rigged so that it would explode when being plugged in."

John and Marion Setzer were killed in February when the bomb went off inside their home.

The district attorney said Parker's son heard the explosion that afternoon and tried to put the fire out to save his grandparents. The assistant district attorney said Parker even carried Mrs. Setzer out of the burning home and held her until paramedics arrived.

"In an initial interview with me, Parker said he stated he had no idea who would do this," Lea said.

Their daughter, Marianna Rogers, spoke at a news conference on Tuesday morning.

"The message that they would want us to carry is that nothing, not even death, can stop the love of God. We miss them more than words can say, but we're comforted with the blessed assurance that we will see them again," she said.

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