FLORENCE — Stephen Parker stood silently next to his attorney, Tim Case, as Lauderdale County Circuit Judge Mike Jones read the jury’s verdict.

Parker showed little emotion as Jones informed him the jury found him guilty of criminally negligent homicide without being impaired, and second-degree assault.

After the jury was dismissed, Parker was placed in the custody of the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office, and he was shackled and taken to the detention center.

He is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 25 at 1:30 p.m.

Criminally negligent homicide without being impaired is a Class A misdemeanor and carries a punishment of a fine and up to a year in jail. Second-degree assault is a Class C felony and carries a penalty of 1-10 years in prison.

Parker, 49, of Rogersville, was convicted in connection with the Sept. 1, 2014, crash that resulted in the death of James Green, 40, of Rogersville, and severe injuries to Mannon Rogers, 40, of Sheffield.

Parker is accused of driving the car that struck the two cyclists on Alabama 207 about 8:30 a.m. Labor Day 2014.

Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly said the victims and their families were “relieved” after the verdict was returned.

“There are no winners or losers. We obtained some means of justice for these victims and their families,” Connolly said. “They hoped he would be found impaired based on the scientific evidence, but in the end, he is looking at one to 10 years in prison.”

Testimony Tuesday by state toxicologists indicated Parker had hydrocodone and marijuana in his system. Dr. Kirk Harper testified both drugs have an effect on a person’s central nervous system, and based on his testing there was a “high probability” Parker was impaired.

Under cross-examination by Case during Tuesday’s testimony, Alabama State Troopers Dustin Todd and Brad Counce, who were at the wreck scene, both acknowledged neither saw “outward signs” of Parker being impaired.

“I’m pleased with the jury’s work and decision,” Case said. “I’m pleased that the jury agreed (Stephen Parker) was not impaired and driving under the influence.

“This was a horrible, horrible accident, and I’m very sympathetic with the victims and their families.”

Rogers, who missed three months of work after the accident, testified Wednesday morning. He told Case, when asked about the incident, he had “no memory” of that day or of his stay in Huntsville Hospital where he was a patient through Sept. 10, 2014.

“I had some brain damage due to the wreck. My memory is just not there. It’s just a blank spot,” he testified.

During his closing comments, Connolly told jurors Parker was “negligent” in his behavior and it was because of that “negligence” that Green was killed and Rogers was injured.

He emphasized Parker “lied” to the state troopers when they asked him at the scene about what substances he had consumed before the crash.

“The lab results showed you what he had — hydrocodone and marijuana — in his system at the time of the crash,” Connolly said. “He was not knee-walking drunk, and the sun may have been in his eyes, but his impairment hampered him in his ability to navigate the vehicle (on) the roadway. ... It caused a lot of tragedy to a lot of people and changed people’s lives forever.”

Case said throughout the trial the sun in Parker’s eyes was a factor in the accident.

“He was not impaired, he came out of a curve, the sun was out and he came up on the cyclists,” Case said in his closing arguments. “This was an unavoidable and unfortunate car wreck.”

The jury deliberated 2 hours and 45 minutes before returning its decision.

Tom Smith can be reached at 256-740-5757 or tom.smith@TimesDaily.com. Follow on Twitter @TD_TomSmith.


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