Court Hearing For Man Accused Of Killing In-Laws In Explosion
WILSON COUNTY, Tenn. – A court hearing was held in Wilson County for the man accused of killing his in-laws with an explosive device in Lebanon.
During a pre-trial motions hearing for Richard Parker on Friday morning, Wilson County Circuit Court Judge John Wootten expressed a desire to set the trial within the October time frame, but expressed concern about scientific evidence causing delays.
A discussion hearing was set for August 5.
During an April hearing, Judge Wootten had tentatively set Parker’s trial for October 28. He said he wanted to set an early date because Parker is awaiting the trial in jail, unable to make his $1-million bond.
In February, Parker pleaded not guilty to two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of premeditated first-degree murder and 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 couple's home on Vance Lane in Lebanon, where it exploded around 5 p.m. on Monday, February 10. 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, where she died two days later.
Parker lived in a home directly behind the Setzers.
Before his arrest, Parker sat for hours at Marian Setzer's bedside along with her other children, said Kevin Ulmet, senior pastor of the Nashville First Church of the Nazarene.
Investigators said the device was not sent through the mail or delivered through any other courier service. Authorities have declined to describe the package or give a possible motive for what happened.
The Setzers moved to Lebanon to be closer to their daughter Laura, her husband Richard, and their four grandchildren.
Parker's pastor said there was never any sign of trouble between the son-in-law and the Setzers.
Richard and his wife, Laura, were longtime members of the church, Ulmet said. The Setzers had been members for years before moving to Lebanon, but they still had close ties to the Nashville congregation, he said.
He said people in the congregation had all thought of Parker as a protective father who wanted his four boys to grow up safe.
Setzer and Parker were said to have been business partners in a company called Legacy Restorations.
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.
Marian Setzer had formerly worked as a dental hygienist.
Parker has been in trouble before. In 1990, he burned down a home that he was supposed to be renovating. In that case, his father-in-law, who concentrated his practice around estates and trusts, helped represent him. Setzer's former law partner said the father-in-law helped because he didn't believe the arson charge was justified.
Parker served four years of probation and was ordered to pay $40,000 restitution.
The couple whose home was burned, Danny and Rosemary Martin, said Parker got behind on renovations and he burned their house after they confronted him about the problems and gave him a deadline to finish the job. They believed Parker got in over his head financially and thought that burning down their house would solve his problems.
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(The Associated Press Contributed To This Report.)