Former Franklin man charged with 2007 murder

Published 4:04 pm Monday, December 20, 2010

COURTLAND—A former Franklin man serving 23 years for his role in the 2009 killing of a Courtland man faces more troubles.

Eric Owen Parker, 21, was recently charged with the nearly four-year-old murder of Courtney Blunt, 26, at Southampton Meadows Mobile Home Park.

“It was based on information we received, but I really can’t get into that,” said Sgt. Wanda Covington with the Southampton County Sheriff’s Office.

Police were called at about midnight on April 20, 2007, and found Blunt, who was shot at his home in the 31000 block of George Street. It’s believed that Parker allegedly shot Blunt while trying to rob him, police said.

Parker is at Buckingham Correctional Facility in Dillwyn, Covington said. Earlier this year, he was found guilty of aggravated malicious wounding and use of a firearm in the commission of malicious wounding in the death of Brandon Keith Turner, 20, on March 3, 2009, on Oak Trail.

A jury in September convicted Parker’s half-brother, Troy Mayfield of Newsoms, with Turner’s death. The jury found Mayfield, 29, guilty of first-degree murder and recommended he spend the rest of his life in prison.

Parker had been charged with shooting Turner in the eye in 2008 at the same Courtland apartment complex. It’s believed Mayfield shot Turner to keep him from testifying against Parker.

Turner was to be a witness for the prosecution in the trial of Darris Lamont Thomas, the man accused in the August 6, 2007, shooting death of 21-year-old Harley Bethea.

Thomas entered guilty pleas to two felony charges, voluntary manslaughter and use of a firearm by a felon. He was originally charged with first-degree murder.

Bethea was on his way home from a trip to the store when he was struck in the chest by a bullet fired from a large-caliber handgun. He died about 100 feet from his front door.