Ruling likely Thursday in child's beating death
BATON ROUGE - A judge says she needs more time to decide the fate of a Baton Rouge man accused of murder.
Randy Parker faces life behind bars for brutally beating and killing his ex-girlfriends one year old son at his home four years ago. Testimony in his bench trial ended Wednesday afternoon.
The family of 23-month-old Demarcus Stokes was disappointed, hoping to get a verdict today.
"I just want justice that's all," said Demarcus's father, Demarcus Gray Sr.
Demarcus's grandmother, Sue Gray, says she not only lost her grandchild but her son as well because of how brokenhearted is he after losing his first born child.
"I just pray to God we will get justice tomorrow when we come back to this courtroom so we can be at peace," Gray said.
During closing statements the state called Parker a child beater and liar, saying his testimony in court did not match the statements he made when he was first arrested in 2011.
His original questioning was played in court yesterday before Judge Trudy White. During the video, Randy Parker admitted to hitting 23-month-old Demarcus Stokes. He said he whipped the child for misbehaving during a hair cut and beat the child because he was angry the child had urinated on the ground. The video also shows Parker stand up and demonstrate crouching over the child and punching the child in the face.
Parker recounted what he said when he took the stand, demonstrating lightly slapping the child with the backs of his hands instead. The state says the testimony was nothing more than justifications, omissions and non-truths.
The defense argued there was no evidence proving Parking intended to harm the child.
"You can't make a chicken soup out of chicken poop," said defense attorney Benn Hamilton.
Hamilton said Parker, at worst, should be charged with manslaughter. Prosecutor Ron Gathe said manslaughter involves provocation.
"I want to know what a two-year-old can do to provoke a reasonable man to want to inflict pain on a 23-month-old child," Gathe said during his rebuttal.
A verdict is expected Thursday. Court will resume in Judge White's room at 11 a.m.
The mother, Kimyia Stokes, remains in parish prison without bond.
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