ABERDEEN – Dr. David Parvin will know by Monday if he’s free to prepare for a new trial in the 2007 shooting death of his wife, Joyce.
Attorneys for the 74-year-old retired economics professor and the prosecution argued Friday before Circuit Judge Paul Funderburk at the Monroe County courthouse, where a jury found Parvin guilty in 2011.
Parvin maintains that his wife’s death was an accident, caused when he tripped inside their home while carrying a loaded shotgun.
But on April 11, the Mississippi Supreme Court overturned his conviction. While it could have turned Parvin free, that court said questions remained about what happened to Joyce Parvin and ordered a new trial.
Chiefly, the state’s highest court cited trial errors that hurt Parvin, especially testimony from controversial pathologist Dr. Steven Hayne about his opinions of the shooting.
Hayne, a forensic pathology expert, is not qualified to testify about ballistics, the court said. It also rejected the state’s use of a visual representation of Joyce Parvin’s shooting, based on Hayne’s calculations.
Parvin was due to be released on bond to prepare for the new trial, but soon after his transport to Monroe County Jail on June 25, he got into a verbal and physical altercation with jail officials, and Funderburk revoked the bond.
Friday’s hearing featured the pros and cons of setting a new bail for the former Mississippi State University teacher.
Funderburk told both sides he’ll have his decision “by Monday.”
Prosecutor Paul Gault, assisted by Nebra Porter, insisted that Parvin’s behavior was too “erratic” and potentially dangerous to allow him out of jail.
His trial is scheduled to begin Nov. 12 in Aberdeen before Funderburk, who presided over the first trial.
Defense attorney Jim Waide of Tupelo, with Rachel Pierce Waide, urged freedom for their client, saying the state failed to prove the two tenets necessary to deprive him of bail – overwhelming evidence of guilt and that he is a danger to others.
Waide insisted the state must show medical evidence of his dangerousness, which it did not during the hearing.
Gault sought to refute Waide’s second issue, saying defense psychiatrist Dr. Raymond Overstreet of Columbus admitted that some people can be dangerous without having a mental condition.
“He cannot determine everyone who is a danger,” Gault said of Overstreet.
Overstreet told Funderburk he thinks Parvin is less a danger out of jail than in jail, where the stresses and lack of control cause Parvin greater anxieties.
The state presented several law enforcement officials, including one man, who transported Parvin from the state prison and to doctor’s appointments. The man said he’d never had any problems with Parvin.
But Sheriff Cecil Cantrell told the court he is uneasy about allowing Parvin to be free, saying, “I’ve seen him talking – he can just snap.”