Teen Pleads Guilty in Gay Slay

ByABC News
July 19, 2001, 7:43 PM

F A I R M O N T, W.Va., July 19 -- A teenager who prosecutors say killed agay black man in a rage when the victim threatened to reveal theirsexual relationship pleaded guilty today to first-degree murder.

David Allen Parker, 18, was sentenced to life in prison withmercy, which means he will be eligible for parole in 15 years.

Parker, of Grant Town, had been scheduled to stand trial nextweek in the death of Arthur "J.R." Warren, a 26-year-old neighborwho was beaten, stomped, kicked with steel-toed boots, then runover four times with a Camaro.

Warren died of massive injuries July 4, 2000, in a gravelpullout alongside a road in Grant Town.

In exchange for Parker's plea, a second count of conspiracy tocommit a felony was dismissed. That count carried a possiblesentence of five years in prison.

Mercy for Testimony

Parker agreed to testify against Jared Wilson, whose trial isscheduled for Aug. 27 in Wheeling.

Parker and Wilson, both 17 at the time, were arrested the day ofWarren's murder.

If convicted, Wilson, of Mannington, faces life in prisonwithout parole.

Jason Shoemaker, Parker's 15-year-old cousin and a witness tothe beating, reported the episode to his mother, who called police.Shoemaker was prosecuted as a juvenile for helping the older teensdispose of evidence after the murder.

Parker had been drinking beer, huffing gasoline and snortingtranquilizers the night of July 3-4. He was angry with Warren, whohad apparently told others about their sexual relationship.

When Warren came to the vacant house that Parker and Wilson werepainting, the boys took $20 from him, then began arguing over thesexual gossip.

In a statement to police, Wilson blamed Parker for initiatingthe attack and said he, too, would have been beaten if he hadn'ttaken part.

I Take Full Responsibility

During the investigation, Parker told a psychologist that Warrenhad sexually abused him since he was 12. Parker said Warren gavehim drugs and alcohol before most of the 30 encounters they had.