The ex-girlfriend charged with shooting and killing her former partner, a decorated East Point police officer, pleaded guilty on Wednesday as a trial was about to get underway.
Fulton Superior Court Judge Kimberly Esmond Adams sentenced Danielle Parker to life with the possibility of parole plus five years in prison, according to the Fulton District Attorney's office. Prosecutors sought a life sentence with no parole.
Police arrested Danielle Parker on July 9, 2013 and charged her with murdering Crystal Parker (top photo), accusing her of shooting the decorated police officer in the head. The women had recently ended their nearly five-year relationship and Danielle Parker moved out of Parker's south Fulton home. Parker's body was discovered on July 7 and police say she was killed sometime over the long holiday weekend.
After killing Parker, Danielle Parker posted to Facebook how much “pain and hurt I feel right now.”
Prosecutors said a trail of evidence led them to Danielle Parker (second photo), according to a press release issued Wednesday.
Corporal Crystal Parker, a seven year veteran of the East Point Police Department, was shot and killed on July 4, 2013 inside her Creel Road home in College Park. Her body was discovered three days later by a friend. She was shot one time in the head at close range while she slept. An extensive investigation led authorities to Defendant Danielle Parker, the victim’s estranged wife. Though she claimed she had not seen the victim or been to the home the two once shared for over a week, cell phone records placed Defendant Parker at the home during the time of the murder. In addition, text messages between the Defendant and a friend were incriminating and contradicted her statements to police. Finally, a gaming console which was stolen in a burglary of the victim’s home prior to the murder was found in the apartment the defendant shared with her mother.
According to the investigation, jealousy was the apparent motive for the murder. Defendant Parker and the victim had separated in December 2012, but the victim allowed the Defendant to remain in the home until she could find a place to live. However, at the beginning of June 2013, the victim asked the Defendant to move out permanently. The victim later began dating another woman. Defendant Parker was enraged because of the victim’s new relationship. Just one day after the victim returned from a trip to visit her new girlfriend in Florida, the Defendant shot and killed Corporal Parker using the victim’s personal handgun. The victim’s gun and cell phone were never recovered.
Parker, a six-year veteran of the East Point Police Department, was honored in 2012 as the agency's officer of the year. Police supervisors said Parker was ready to be promoted. Friends say Parker's dedication to serving and protecting on the job carried over into her personal life.
Crystal Parker, known as Chris by friends, joined Alpha Chapter of Sigma Omega Phi Fraternity, a social group for masculine-identified lesbians. in 2008 and mentored other members and helped establish a scholarship program so prospective pledges could earn their GED. Atlanta Pride honored the fraternity as one of its grand marshals in 2012.