Son-In-Law Charged With Homicide In Lebanon Explosion

Son-In-Law Charged With Homicide In Lebanon Explosion

CREATED Feb 14, 2014

LEBANON, Tenn. – Investigators have arrested a suspect in the Lebanon explosion that killed a husband and wife. Officials said the couple's son-in-law, Richard Parker, intentionally planted the explosive device.

The announcement was made at a press conference Thursday afternoon by representatives of the Wilson County Sheriff's Office, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, FBI, ATF, State Fire Marshal's office, district attorney's office and others.

"The collaborate efforts of all these agencies and hundreds of individuals working tirelessly throughout the past few nights has resulted in the arrest of the person responsible for this crime," said Sheriff Robert Bryan.

TBI director Mark Gwyn said a special Wilson County grand jury indicted 49-year-old Richard Parker on two counts of felony first-degree murder and two counts of premeditated murder.

Parker was also charged with one count of unlawful possession of a prohibited weapon. 

The victims were Parker's father-in-law, 74-year-old Jon Setzer, and mother-in-law, 72-year-old Marian Setzer.

The TBI said an unknown package containing an explosive was delivered to the home on Vance Lane in Lebanon, where it exploded around 5 p.m. Monday. Jon Setzer was killed in the blast. Marian Setzer was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville after suffering critical injuries in the explosion.

Marian Setzer succumbed to her injuries Wednesday evening.

"Although we do have the suspect in custody, this remains on ongoing investigation," said Jeff Fulton, Special Agent in Charge with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' Nashville Division.

Fulton said the $8,000 reward for information was still being offered for additional information that would aid in the investigation and lead to a conviction.

"There is still evidence being examined at TBI's lab and the ATF's lab," he said.  

Fulton said the device was not sent through the mail or delivered through any other courier service.

"This device was placed," he said.

Parker, age 49, was arrested at his home Thursday and booked into the Wilson County Jail. Bond was set at $1 million. 

Officials did not release the circumstances that lead to the murders, but said the explosive device was intentionally set. 

Anyone with information call the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND. Officials said the reward was still being offered in the event more information could be brought forward. 

The Setzers moved to Lebanon to be closer to their daughter Laura, her husband Richard, and their four grandchildren. Setzer and Parker are said to have been business partners in a company called Legacy Restorations.

His house was just behind the Setzers'.

The family's pastor, Kevin Ulmets, spent time with both the Setzer and Parker families after the arrest.

"(I) can't understand, have no idea why this occurred. Had no clue of it, nor did nobody else. But I trust he and God are having some conversations as well," said Pastor Ulmets. "I don't want us to lose sight in the midst of this frenzy regarding the perpetrator of the fact that this family is holding strong in their faith in God, and also in loving each other."

Pastor Mike Ripsky never met Richard Parker, but knew the Setzers very well.

"I cannot imagine the torment of a soul that would have wanted to harm them. What was disturbing in the way they died, now is even more disturbing because of who's hand that they died at."

Richard Parker has a criminal past.  He was convicted in a 1993 arson case from Giles County. He was sentenced to four years of probation and ordered to pay $40,000 restitution.

Jon Setzer was an attorney who handled wills and trusts, but he had been in very ill health in recent years. Friends said he was on dialysis and had heart problems and high blood pressure, among other health issues.

Marion Setzer had formerly worked as a dental hygienist.

"We are just dazed by what happened," Nashville attorney John Stark said. "Jon was one of the good guys. He was a good lawyer. He taught Sunday school."

Stark, who said he's known the Setzers for more than 30 years and attended church with them, described the former lawyer as quiet and humble man.

Authorities have declined to describe the package or give a possible motive for what happened.

John Lloyd, a retired dentist, said he has known the family for years, first when Marion Setzer worked for him as a hygienist in Nashville and later when they attended church together in Lebanon.

"They were two of the finest people I ever knew, good Christian people who loved their children," Lloyd said.

Lloyd said Marion Setzer stopped working for him when she became pregnant with the couple's son, Jon Leo Setzer Jr. The child died at age 3 when he was mauled by a neighbor's German shepherd in 1977.

The story was front-page news at the time as officials debated whether to have the dog put down.

Bob Taylor, who lived about a block from the Setzers for many years, said they were "nice folks" and good neighbors. Jon Setzer volunteered do the legal work to set up their local homeowners association. Taylor said he and his young children all helped search for the Setzers' little boy when he went missing. Taylor and his wife had not heard from the Setzers for a few years before they learned about the explosion on television.

"My wife was home by herself," he said. "It just knocked her for a loop.

(Copyright The Associated Press/NewsChannel 5.)