By JB Clark
ABERDEEN – Attorneys for David Parvin and for the state of Mississippi agreed on many points in their opening statements Wednesday: David Parvin is a gun safety advocate, the trigger of his shotgun can’t pull itself, he shot and killed his wife, and the Oct. 15, 2007, shooting was a tragedy.
But the prosecution believes that the evidence shows the shooting was intentional while Parvin’s attorneys maintain it was an accident.
Parvin was convicted of murder in Monroe County Circuit Court in 2011, but the Mississippi Supreme Court ordered a new trial.
Witnesses called by the state in the first day of trial included Monroe County Chief Deputy Curtis Knight, Mississippi Bureau of Investigations Lt. Kenny Bailey, Crime Scene Investigator Arthur Chancellor, Deputy Sidney Bean and Parvin’s former lover, Betty Hamblin.
Knight was one of the first on the scene and testified to observing the home, the body of Joyce Parvin and twice having brief conversations with Parvin in which his account of the shooting varied slightly.
Knight recalled Parvin telling him in one statement he tripped over a rug, causing him to fall and inadvertently fire the shotgun. In another statement he said it could have been the rug, his dog or something else he wasn’t sure of. Attorneys for Parvin argued the slight discrepancies in Parvin’s accounts weren’t rock-solid evidence since they weren’t specifically detailed in Knight’s investigative report.
Hamblin was asked about a conversation with Parvin in the weeks after the shooting in which she recalled he initially told her Joyce Parvin killed herself.
“He had talked about her and said several times she had talked about killing herself,” Hamblin said. “I might have misunderstood but I thought he said she killed herself and then later he said that he tripped on a dog or a rug (and shot her). At that time I could have been thinking about the few times he had said that way before this happened.”
The day ended with the state reading Parvin’s testimony from the 2011 trial in which he recounted his recollection of the 2007 shooting of his wife.
Attorney Jim Waide objected to the reading, saying it was a violation of Parvin’s 5th Amendment rights, but District Judge Paul Funderburk overruled and allowed the testimony to be read.
Assistant District Attorney Paul Gault previously told Funderburk the state should be finished presenting its case today at which point Parvin’s attorneys will begin presenting their case.
Funderburk told jurors during the selection process that they may not hear final arguments until early next week.