Franklinton man pleads to the manslaughter of his nephew
by David Leone
RALEIGH — A Franklinton resident pleaded guilty in Wake County Superior Court Friday to manslaughter in the unintentional shooting death of his nephew.
Information published online by the N.C. Department of Correction confirms that Jason Michael Parker, 30, of Timberline Drive, has received a 13- to 25-month suspended sentence for the felony conviction. He was also found guilty of a misdemeanor for hunting without a license.
Parker will be on supervised probation for a year and unsupervised probation for another year. While on probation, he can’t hunt or obtain a hunting license.
Parker was hunting with his nephew, James Lee Parker, 12, of Tarboro, James’ father and another family member near the entrance to B.W. Wells Park off Bent Road in rural Wake Forest in the early morning Dec. 30 when the accident occurred.
A 12-gauge shotgun discharged and hit the youth in the chest with buckshot, killing him.
All had hunting licenses, but they hadn’t completed the hunter safety course required to obtain a hunting license, Capt. Matthew Long, district supervisor with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, said previously, indicating that made the licenses invalid.
Children can hunt if they’re accompanied by an adult.
His grandfather, Jimmy Parker III of Roxboro, and two cousins, Franklinton’s Michaela Roberts and Taylor Padgett said at the time that the youngster loved to hunt and fish and that the post-Christmas outing was a special occasion because the families lived in separate counties.
In online forums, some people criticized the verdict as a slap on the wrist, but others pointed out the suffering that Jason Parker and his family have gone through since the death.
“This poor guy will have to live with this the rest of his life,” one woman wrote. “That’s by far a worse punishment than we could ever hand out.”