Be sure to read the Update at the close of this blog.
Please keep in mind when reading this, I am not anti-law enforcement. On the contrary, I feel law enforcement who operate with corrupt and ill intentions tarnish the reputations of the many, many, many good police officers who put their lives on the line each and every day to protect citizens in their communities. I feel the actions of the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department were reprehensible during the investigation of my husband’s death, which is why I chose to interview Mr. Brian Adams myself to determine if he was a candidate worthy my endorsement and deserving of holding the esteemed office of Sheriff. Not only have I interviewed Mr. Adams, but I traveled to South Carolina to personally meet him, his lovely wife Michelle and their beautiful children. And, I also met his amazing 96-year-old grandmother! I can tell you first hand that Mr. Adams is genuine and sincere and WILL RESTORE RIGHTEOUSNESS TO THE BERKELEY COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT.
I have been asked by many to finally break my silence about the details of the investigation into Warren’s death. I took many notes during the ordeal of the investigation and trial. Until now, I have only shared these details with a few close friends and family. Today – on the eve of the election – in support of Mr. Adams and in honor of Warren, I am choosing to share these details with the world.
God Bless and Love in Support of Brian Adams and in Memory of Warren,
The Investigation of the Death Of Warren Parker – Shannan Parker’s Notes
– Warren Parker was tragically killed when a truck struck him and his tour bus, pinning him between the truck and bus, on January 8, 2006. He was helping direct his tour bus into a church parking lot.
– According to our bus driver, Brandt White, the driver of the truck which struck Warren and the bus (later identified as Timothy Baker, 33, of Goose Creek, SC), got out of his truck, looked down at Warren, looked White straight in the eyes, and fled the scene. Mr. White, in his own words, later recalled the actions of the officers who arrived onto the scene: “Shortly after the crash occurred the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department arrived on the scene. Upon the arrival of the police I requested that they give some assistance to Warren at which time I was told that they could not give any assistance. The police said, “We cannot touch him. ” I then insisted that they help him and again I was told that the BCSD could not help Warren. I then was forced to stand helplessly as Warren lay bleeding in the street. Although one police officer thought to tell me “I think I heard him breath, “not much reassurance. The traffic in the area became heavy do to part of the road being blocked, I then spoke to the police supervisor and asked if somebody could direct the traffic then the supervisor said, “I’m trying to get my guys to do their job.” There were police officers standing around talking with each other, and still no one tried to help Warren. It seemed like total chaos until the State Police arrived on the scene. It was not until the fire department and the EMT unit arrived on the scene that any assistance was given. Warren was then worked on at the scene and then transported to the hospital.
– The Berkeley County Sheriff’s officers laid a white sheet over Warren’s blood for us to step out of the bus. Brandt refused to allow his wife Angie and I to get off the bus until he had the officers get a proper tarp – protecting us from walking on the blood soaked sheet and seeing the full horror of the scene.
– The next day an officer came to the house where we were staying and had our driver look at a photocopy of a line up to see if the man was there. Our driver, Brandt White, asked the officer if the pictures were old photos and the officer responded “YES”. Brandt told the officer he wanted a live line up the next morning with the person who they suspected committed the crime. The officer said that “the prosecutor doesn’t like to come in on his day off” but, since we were leaving town to bury Warren, they would have it by noon the next day at the latest. At eleven am the next day we called to find out what was happening and they informed us the officer had not even put the request in. We had to leave town to bury my husband! The night before we left, which was three days after the accident, we asked about the truck that struck Warren and what was being done to obtain evidence from it. We asked if they had fingerprinted it seeing as the man suspected already had a criminal record. They had NOT. We asked if it should have been done. The answer, “YES!” We asked why had it not been done. The answer, “I don’t know.” We were told they suspected they knew who the man was but they didn’t have enough evidence to pick him up. Fingerprinting the truck seemed logical to us!
– The Berkeley County Victim’s Advocate office made no attempt to contact me. In fact, I have had to hire my own attorney, Mr. John West, to oversee the investigation.
– Mr. West indicated to me that Mr. Baker and his attorney have made no attempt to “make right”, or even cooperate in the matters regarding Warren’s death. If this had been done… if Mr. Baker were seeking help for his alleged alcohol problem, or made some sort of recompense for his actions, then there would be some lead way to extend grace to Mr. Baker and perhaps even petition the court to extend its mercy on him. However, Mr. Baker’s actions, in my opinion, do not indicate any repentance. Therefore, I am petitioning for Mr. Baker to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law so he is taken off of the streets for a very long time and unable to hurt anyone else.
– On December 19th , Mr. West and I met with Berkeley County Solicitor Blair Jennings and one of his investigators. During this meeting, Mr. Jennings indicated that he was going to only pursue a charge of “leaving the scene of an accident with a fatality”. Mr. Jennings indicated he had a videotape of Mr. Baker at a bar prior to the accident. I have expressed my desire to have Mr. Baker charged with DUI and manslaughter as well. After speaking with Mr. Jennings, I found much of Mr. Jenning’s account to differ from what I have been told all along by the Berkeley County Sheriffs Office. For instance, the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office led me to believe that a live “line-up” could be put together. Mr. Jennings indicated that live line-ups only exist on television and that Berkeley County had not conducted one in over 10 years. I was told by Berkeley County Sheriffs Office that they knew who the suspect was and that he had a long track record of alcohol offenses. Mr. Jennings indicated that Baker had only previously been arrested on credit card fraud.
– It was discovered during the civil trial that Mr. Baker had been dishonorably discharged from the Navy with 11 others for possession of cocaine with the intent to sell years before he killed Warren. It also came out in the civil trial that the police had found Mr. Baker’s wallet the night of the accident as he had left it in the truck. The whole investigation was a joke in my opinion. Mr. Baker sat with what I interpreted to be a “who cares” attitude and could not even tell me the name of the man he killed. I felt he knew he was walking away free.
– Despite all of the conflicting stories, Mr. Jennings indicated that he has spent more time on this case than many of his others, including murders. He indicated that he spent an entire week on this case. Though it had been almost a year, we were still waiting for the bar video to be analyzed… according the solicitor’s investigator, there is a long line of work for the one analyzer in the county. Rather than pushing it through, the investigator indicated that it would be better if they take this gentleman to lunch at “Arby’s” or somewhere so he spends all night doing the job right. (“They have to bribe him?” – SP)
– Mr. Jennings indicated that Mr. Baker’s friends admitted to using marijuana the night of Warren’s death, but they “could not remember” if Mr. Baker used it or not. These witnesses were not charged, although they did admit to using illegal substances.
– There was a K-9 unit sent out the night of the accident that led the officers to where Mr. Baker was. Mr. Baker’s own wife informed officers to his whereabouts. Mr. Jennings response, “Don’t pick him up. We don’t have enough evidence.” (“Really? You have the weapon, the truck. You have the blood of the man who was driving the truck, and his fingerprints, and now we know that dogs led them to him AND YOU HAD HIS WALLET!” My question, “Why are you protecting him?“)
– Four witness saw Mr. Baker violating the terms of his bond by being in a bar drinking, and Mr. Jennings chose to do nothing about it.
– The one news reporter who was asking the hard questions quickly disappeared, and the others refused to ask questions.
Tim Baker faced up to 25 years in prison. He was sentenced to 6 years suspended to 2 years probation. His license was also suspended but they lifted the suspension early. He spent a total of 12 hours in jail, long enough to be processed and released.
Berkeley County put me through 3 years of this heartache, and, in my opinion, had no intention of doing right. Please keep in mind that some of the current candidates for Sheriff were senior officers at the department during this time and chose to do nothing. I had no allies within the system. The people of Berkeley County deserve better. They deserve to feel safe and free from over 20 years worth of oppression from the old regime. IT’S TIME SOMEONE TELLS THE TRUTH.
I am praying for Mr. Adams and ask that you please do the same. He needs all the prayers he can get as citizens hit the polls on Tuesday, April 21st!! I will let you know the election results as soon as I get them.
UPDATE, (Tuesday evening, April 21 ‘2015)