Sam Parker takes the stand in his on defense in corruption trial - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Sam Parker takes the stand in his on defense in corruption trial

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Former Chesterfield County Sheriff Sam Parker appeared calm as he took the stand in his own defense, Wednesday.

He faces eight charges, five of them, misconduct in office.

"Did you knowingly ever violate any laws alleged in this 8 count indictment by the State," asked Defense Attorney Johnny Gasser.

"Absolutely not," answered Parker.

Parker is accused of knowingly letting two inmates sleep and live in the armory in exchange for doing work on his property.

While in the armory, the inmates testified they had access to the Internet, phones and had unlimited, unsupervised visitors, all with the sheriff's knowledge.

Wednesday, Parker said he was unaware of what was going on in the armory until a SLED investigation.

He also said the inmates never did any work on his property.

Parker testified he allowed the inmates to live in the armory to improve response times on emergency calls.

The former Sheriff also addressed accusations from deputies who say he threatened retaliation if they went to higher authorities with their complaints.

"Did you ever threaten to indict anybody as it related to Mike Lee or William Skipper? Ever," asked Gasser?

"Never," responded Parker.

"Is it reflected in any of those notes you looked at," asked Gasser.

"It's absolutely nowhere in those notes," answered Parker.

While on the stand, Parker admitted he never read a state contract that he signed about how inmates are supposed to be housed.

He said he was too trusting of his Jail administrator to make sure everything was in order.

When asked why he didn't arrest two inmates who shot guns on his property, Parker testified he didn't know it was illegal for an inmate to possess a weapon.

"Not only embarrassed but as of today I'm very, just adamantly… embarrassed won't even do it," said Parker.

Closing arguments will begin Thursday morning.

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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