Judge admonishes defense attorney in Sam Parker corruption trial - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Judge admonishes defense attorney in Sam Parker corruption trial

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There were fireworks on and off the stand in the Sam Parker corruption trial, Tuesday.

Defense attorneys for Parker grilled a deputy for the Chesterfield Sheriff's office, asking why didn't he blow the whistle on the former sheriff if he knew illegal activities were going on in the department.

After that, the judge in the case had a heated exchange with the same defense attorney.

James Dixon was not only a major under former sheriff Sam Parker, but is currently running as a candidate for sheriff in the upcoming June election.

When asked why he didn't go to higher authorities when he knew about wrong doings in the department, Dixon said he wasn't going to be the one to rat his boss out.

"It was a shame the process we were going through, but I was not going to be the one who started the investigation," said Dixon.

Dixon (along with several current and former deputies in the sheriff's office) says he told Parker inmates Mike Lee and William Skipper were violating housing rules by living and sleeping outside of the jail, driving county cars and having unsupervised visitors.

Dixon says when he went to Parker to address the issues, nothing was done.

When defense attorney Johnny Gasser grilled Dixon about why didn't he go the FBI or SLED, Dixon said fear of retaliation stopped him.

Dixon says Parker threatened to fire or indict any deputy who reported anything to higher authorities.

"I work for the sheriff, I have a family here. For me to go start an investigation or trouble, I have a family I have to feed also and it was explained to us clearly not to mess with the inmates. It was explained to us clearly," said Dixon.

County Finance Director Michelle Stanley also testified against Parker, Tuesday, saying he allowed inmate Skipper to check out an A/C unit at her home.

But one of the more intense times in court came when defense attorney Gasser and Judge Lee Alford had a disagreement over proper court procedures, when gasser asked a witness to read over a six page document.

Judge Alford didn't like it and handed down a stern warning.

"It's not proper. It's not proper on the rules. You know it's not proper on the rules and you're going to follow the rules as long as I'm sitting here. You understand," said Judge Alford.

"I understand the rules, your honor," responded Gasser.

"Then follow the rules and we won't have a problem," said Judge Alford.

Trial will resume Wednesday, still no word if Parker will take the stand.

Parker is charged with 5 counts of misconduct in office, 2 counts of giving contraband to inmates and one count of embezzlement.

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