Monday, February 13, 2012

Parker Triple Murder Trial Underway In LaBelle

Ruby Yolanda Parker On Trial For Three Murders
LABELLE, FLORIDA -- The State of Florida has charged Ruby Yolanda Parker, 36, formerly of Poplarville, Miss. with three counts felony capital murder and a Clewiston home invasion robbery. 

Parker is on trial this week at the Hendry County Courthouse.

At approximately 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, August 15, 2006 the Clewiston Police Department received a 911 call that three people were found dead at 231 West Avendia Del Rio in Clewiston.

When police arrived they found two females and one male dead inside the home. Detectives at the time reported seeing no visible signs of trauma to any of the bodies.

The victims were identified as Joey Glenn Whitaker, 52, Carolyn Cox Whitaker, 53, and Myrtle Lee Cox, 80. The Whitakers had lived in the spacious 2900' square foot home since 1989.

According to Larry Long of the Fort Myers office of the FDLE, while investigating the murders, agents learned that one of the victim's vehicles was missing from the home.

Information was revealed that placed the stolen vehicle in the Big Cypress Indian Reservation. At approximately 5:15 p.m., FDLE special agents and Seminole Police responded and spotted the stolen vehicle and pursuit began. Police say a male suspect was driving with a female passenger.

The slow moving pursuit ended in the south section of the reservation when the male suspect rammed two Seminole Police cruisers. As police demanded the suspect exit the vehicle, and the male suspect Richard Harker committed suicide with a single gun shot to the head. 

Ruby Yolanda Parker, then aged 31, (photo above) of Poplarville, MS. was taken into custody and has been in the Hendry County jail since her 2006 arrest. 

The male suspect in the alleged murders killed himself shortly after the crime. Richard Harry Harker 35, of Hawthorne, Florida was reportedly a business associate of one of the Clewiston victims, Joey Whitaker.

According to the Florida Secretary of State, Richard H. Harker started a company in 2005 incorporated as Harker and Associates of Florida, LLC with offices in small town Hawthorne, Florida.

Joey Whitaker was the head of Big Lake Cruisers, Inc. in Clewiston since 1986. Records show that Nestor Ramos of Clewiston was the Vice President, and Linda S. Pelham the Secretary/Treasurer of the local corporation.

Harker served nearly ten years in prison in Florida for second degree murder. He was released in 2002 and spent time in Desoto Correctional Instutute in Arcadia, serving time for a second degree murder in 1990.

The trial of Ruby Yolanda Parker had been postponed several times over the years. Today, the state is presenting it's case to the court at the LaBelle courthouse. The trial is expected to last through the week.

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