Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Ruby Parker Testifies In Clewiston Triple Murder Trial

"He Made Me Do It" - Claims Was Held Against Her Will As Three Murdered

LABELLE, FL. -- Ruby Yolanda Parker, 36, told a 12-member jury in LaBelle that she was held against her will in August 2006 by now deceased Richard Harry Harker, then 35 years old.  Parker, living in the Hendry county jail for five and one-half years admits she was with Harker when he killed three Clewiston residents in their home.

But in response to assistant State Attorney Hamid Hunter's questions, Parker claimed "He made me do it," referring to her complacency while accompanying Harker in the senseless killings of Joey Glenn Whitaker, 52, wife Carolyn Cox Whitaker, 53, and Myrtle Lee Cox, 80, Carolyn's mother August 15, 2006.

Harker, claimed Parker, went to the Whitaker home in the morning to talk to Joey Whitaker about money owed to Harker.  But, she said, after about 15 minutes things turned bad as Harker held a gun on the family, and tied them up.

Harker allegedly left the house about 3 p.m. to go to the bank and get cigarettes for the elder Cox, while Parker went to sleep next to the bound woman, at least according to Parker. Parker claims she was told to lay on the bed by Harker. She had no explanation why she didn't use the house phone to call for help other than she thought if the family did what Harker wanted all would be fine.

Parker said she slept one other time during the incident.

After the family was killed, Harker stole Whitaker's GMC truck, while Parker took Harker's smaller pickup and went to the Clewiston McDonald's for a "breakfast burrito." The two also stopped at Mary Lou's General Store in Montura to pick up a six pack of beer. Parker used the now murdered Myrtle Cox's credit card, signing Cox's name for the beer purchase.

Parker said even though there were a few people, including a child in the Montura store, she didn't ask for help, for fear Harker would kill them all.

Later, a pursuit by the Seminole Police and Florida Department Of Law Enforcement ended in the south section of the Big Cypress Indian Reservation on Snake Road when Harker rammed two Seminole Police cruisers at a police roadblock.

As police demanded the suspect exit the vehicle, Richard Harker committed suicide with a single gun shot to the head. Parker was sitting next to him in Whitaker's stolen truck. A second gun was found in the truck in addition to the one Harker used to commit suicide. Parker said she didn't know how that 2nd gun got there.

Parker told the jury she didn't know why Parker would kill the family, but said repeatedly he was forcing her to do everything, including taking powdered cocaine and crack cocaine for the month leading up to the killings.

Harker was also taking cocaine "most of the day," eating little and sleeping little, she said. "He had become paranoid," she said. "He had me take off all my clothes and sit on the bed," she told the court he would often do, as she described her last month with Harker. She sobbed as she said Harker would hit her if he didn't like what she said. 

Harker always carried a gun, usually in the front of his pants, she said, and took away her phone and "had control of all my possessions." He "controlled everything," and "I would just do what he said."

Ironically she also testified about an incident a month before where Harker gave her his gun and he said she could kill him if she wanted to.

The prosecution countered by having her admit there were many times when she was not with Harker, and had access to a phone to call for help, but she didn't do so. Parker said she didn't want to get anyone else involved, fearing Harker might kill anyone helping.

She said after Harker killed the first Clewiston victim, he said, "That's taken care of."

Parker said Harker forced her to help clean up the house with a sock after the murders, wiping fingerprints off surfaces, and cleaning ashtrays she used when smoking. About 4 a.m. they left the house in the two separate trucks, and when questioned about escaping at that time from Harker, said "Fleeing was not an option," because she didn't know where she was.

While following Harker, she lost him as he sped through a red light in Clewiston. He turned around, she says and was irate because she didn't go through the light after him.

They then rented a cabin at the Big Cypress Reservation, where she says she told him to "kill her if he was going to." At the cabin Harker, she claims, put two bunk bed mattresses on the floor and wanted to have sex with her, but she refused, enraging him, she says.

Parker says he hit her, pulled her by the hair into the bathroom and gave her a knife to kill herself "if she wanted." He laughed and taunted her, according to her testimony today.

The defense has two more witnesses to present to the jury, starting about 9:30 a.m. Thursday. John E. Duryea, Jr. is the presiding judge. Closing arguments by both sides are expected either late Thursday or Friday.

(video: Ruby Parker testifies at her murder trial in LaBelle under cross-examination by the state)

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12:47 PM

    She need to stay in jail.someone has to be accounted for murdering this family.