Guilty Verdict in Parrish Double Murder Trial
A jury in Monroe County has found Michael Parrish guilty of killing his girlfriend and their toddler son. The verdict was announced just after 5 p.m. Friday.
Michael Parrish could face the death penalty.
The jury got this case Friday afternoon after they heard closing arguments from both sides all morning long.
First up was the defense attorney who took just over two hours telling why his client should be spared the worst.
Michael Parrish continued his streak of silence as he was led into the courtroom. Once seated, Parrish sat motionless for hours, staring at a styrofoam cup in front of him.
Parrish’s attorney Wes Niemoczynski began by telling the jury, “This is not a whodunit case. We know whodunit. That man is Michael Parrish.”
He addressed the jury for just over two hours painting a picture of a man who was hurt so much by the two people he loved the most, his girlfriend, Victoria Adams, and his 19-month-old son, Sidney, that he shot them without premeditation.
Police said Parrish shot and killed Adams and their young son, Sidney, in July of 2009 inside the couple’s apartment in Effort.
Niemoczynski said the killings were not intentional and without malice but spent most of the two hours and 15 minutes talking about what happened after the killings, and what witnesses saw after Adams and Sidney were already killed.
At one point the defense attorney quoted Simon and Garfunkle’s classic song, “The Boxer” telling they jury, “A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.”
The defense went on to argue Parrish’s state of mind that evening, asking the jury why would Parrish kill the two people who cherished the most.
Assistant District Attorney Mike Mancuso called that strategy a red herring.
He spent an hour talking to the jury, showing them autopsy photos of Adams and Sidney, even holding up the baby’s shirt riddled with bullet holes and stained with blood.
Mancuso told the court, “Michael Parrish is nothing but a controlling, abusive, hateful thug,” adding, “He knew this ammunition was in the gun when he fired into his own son’s face.”
After an hour and a half, jurors returned, finding Parrish guilty of two counts of first-degree murder.
Victoria Adams’ family reacted with tears of joy after the verdicts were read in court.
“We are elated, excited and I guess in anticipation of the next phase,” said Jennifer Adams, Victoria’s sister.
“I want to see him go to jail for life. I want to see him sit there and think about this every day. Death is too easy for him,” said Malcolm Adams, Victoria’s father and Sidney’s grandfather.
Jurors are due back at the Monroe County Courthouse at 9 a.m. Monday morning for the penalty part of the case.