Man Shot by Judge Had Been in Trouble Before
MIAMI (AP) _ A man who was shot and injured by a judge Halloween night when he allegedly tried to break into his house was once convicted of double murder, but the conviction was overturned, police said.
Jeffrey Dale Parnell was convicted of murdering two drug dealers and burying them in a sugarcane field, records showed. The victims were robbed of money and drugs before they were shot in 1981.
An appeals court reversed Parnell’s conviction in October 1986, saying statements made to key witnesses were improperly used as evidence. The state dropped the charges because key witnesses refused to cooperate in a new trial.
Richard Barlow, the prosecutor in the murder case, said Thursday Parnell had about 30 arrests and no convictions. His 21-page record includes charges of kidnapping, involuntary sexual assault and robbery with force.
Parnell, 30, was shot in the stomach Wednesday with a .22 caliber pistol by Judge Harvey Baxter when he and another man allegedly tried to break into the judge’s home. The intruders wore gorilla masks.
The 60-year-old judge and his wife were not injured. Baxter returned to the bench Thursday.
Parnell was hospitalized in good condition Friday. He was arrested at the hospital and charged with attempted murder, armed burglary, aggravated battery and use of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
The second man remained at large.