Parson sentenced to 35 years in jail

Parson sentenced to 35 years in jail

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Michael Parson in court on Friday. Michael Parson in court on Friday.
ATLANTA -

A judge has sentenced Michael Parson to the maximum of 35 years in jail for the attempted murder of his wife.  During an emotional sentencing hearing on Friday morning, Parson's mother told the court she still doesn't believe he is the shooter.  

On Thursday, Parson was convicted of shooting his wife, Adina, eight times outside their Sandy Springs apartment in 2011.  Parson, who chose not to testify in his own defense, was convicted on charges of aggravated assault, attempted murder and other charges.  Prosecutors said that Parson wanted to kill his wife so that he could marry another woman.

Parson's mother begged the judge for mercy on her son's behalf, and asked Adina's family for forgiveness.  She said her son is not a monster, and she's not convinced he was the murderer.

Adina's father and best friend spoke on her behalf.  Her best friend, Sondra Reed, talked about the way she used to be, and said she misses her, but still loves her the same way she always has, and will always be there for her.

Jurors spent Thursday morning watching and listening to a videotaped statement Parson gave police as they investigated his wife's shooting.  On tape, Parson admitted that he cheated on his wife with a co-worker, who became his fiancée.  He also said he had sex with that co-worker while his wife struggled to survive in a hospital.  

Parson told investigators he realized that didn't sound right, but insisted he did not shoot his wife.  

On Wednesday, it was revealed that Parson lied about having spinal cancer, and was not actually receiving treatments at the time his wife was shot.  Prosecutors also read a letter Parson wrote to his fiancée, Rachel Harner.  

Harner also spoke to the court on Friday morning, saying she no longer trusts anyone and her life, too, has been turned upside down.

"I'm speaking to this courtroom today with a heavy guilt in my heart because I was able to walk to the podium today and speak clearly to anyone who will hear me," Harner said. "It seems cruel of speak of my pain when Adina cannot."

Before the shooting, prosecutors say Adina Parson was a young, successful lawyer who worked a lot, engaged in couple's activities with her husband, and volunteered at church.  The state says her husband was leading a double life, and was engaged to Harner, a young soldier he met when she was just 19 years old.  

The state says Parson found a friend, created an alibi and then shot his wife outside of their home.

As a result of the shooting, Adina-- who now goes by her maiden name of Broom-- lost her eye, is barely able to walk and talk, and is confined to a wheelchair. Adina's father said Friday he will forgive Parson, but wants him to do the maximum amount of time.  Through her family, Adina says she's relieved the matter is finally behind her, but family members say she admits she still loves her ex-husband.

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