Sirens & Gavels

John Wayne mocking leads to assault

 A homeless man was sentenced today to 15 months in prison after he attacked another man with a claw hammer for making fun of John Wayne.

Joel S. Parsons, 42, had been charged with first-degree assault but agreed to a plea agreement for second-degree assault with a deadly weapon enhancement.
 
According to court records, Parsons met Kevin Murphy on Dec. 24 through a mutual friend at the Salvation Army. Murphy allowed Parsons to stay with him at his apartment on West 8th Avenue in Spokane.

They were walking to get beer Dec. 30 when Murphy informed Parsons that he could only continue to stay in the apartment if he agreed to continue sexual relations.

Parsons became angry and said he would not pay for rent with sex, according to the records. The two men returned to the apartment and Murphy put in a John Wayne movie that Parsons began to mock, so Murphy told Parsons to leave.

That's when Parsons struck Murphy in the head with a claw hammer.

Murphy told Parsons he was going outside to get some fresh air but instead went to a neighbor, who called police. Murphy suffered as many as eight blunt force wounds, many of which had cuts from the hammer's claw.

"I lost control of my emotions," Parsons said today. "As soon as I saw the blood, I dropped the hammer. I'm sorry for what I did."

The sentence imposed by Superior Court Judge Maryann Moreno was the least amount of time available. Parsons had no criminal record.




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Thomas Clouse
Thomas Clouse covers area college and high school sports.

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