Parvin defense puts focus on accidental discharge

By JB Clark/Daily Journal
ABERDEEN – In the first day of the defense’s presentation, David Parvin’s attorneys called a neurophysiology expert to testify about involuntary and accidental firearm discharges.
Roger Enoka, a professor of integrative physiology at the University of Colorado, testified that according to his previously published research, when a person falls their arms immediately begin to move, and anything in their hands is tightly gripped.
Parvin told law enforcement on Oct. 15, 2007 that he was walking or rushing down the hallway of his house with a loaded shotgun in order to shoot a beaver in his backyard. At some point he tripped in the hallway and fell, at which point the firearm discharged.
He said, according to the statement given by Parvin to law enforcement after the shooting of his wife, he believes Parvin’s nervous system would have generated an automatic response that would have caused his left hand to leave the grip of shotgun and reach out for something to brace his fall. His right hand would have tightened around the trigger area of the shotgun to balance the weight of the weapon, causing the weapon to be discharged.
Enoka said if the facts of the statement given to law enforcement were untrue, however, his estimation of Parvin’s involuntary response is inappropriate and irrelevant.
Before Enoka, neighbor Donal Vaughn testified to the presence of rodents in the neighborhood, like the beaver Parvin told authorities he was on his way to shoot.
Joyce Parvin’s estate attorney and David Parvin’s attorney from his first criminal trial, Timothy Ervin, testified that Parvin relinquished any claim to his wife’s estate two months after her death.
Former Tupelo Deputy Police Chief Robert Hall testified as to his own accidental firearm discharge that occurred after he slipped while working as a special forces officer in Tupelo.
The trial began Wednesday after two days of jury selection. Circuit Court Judge Paul Funderburk told jurors they might not hear closing arguments until early next week.
Parvin’s 2011 trial, in which he was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison, was ordered to be retried by the Mississippi Supreme Court.

About Ray Van Dusen

I've been with the Monroe Journal since Aug. 2009 as a staff writer, but took the role as news editor in late 2012. I'm always looking for interesting story ideas from around Monroe County. You can reach me via email at