Bond set for man accused of murder

A man accused of murdering his girlfriend at their apartment on East Burdick Expressway Sunday made his initial appearance at the Ward County Courthouse in Minot Wednesday via video feed from the county jail.

Darin Lee Parker, 47, Minot, had his bond set at $750,000, cash-only, with other stipulations attached.

Police were called at 6:36 a.m. Sunday by Parker’s step-father, who reported that Parker had called him and his wife saying “that he had cut his wrists and there was a dead person in the room with him,” according to an affidavit written by Officer Jay Laudenschlager of the Minot Police Department.

When police and emercency medical personnel responded to apartment number seven at the 2816 E. Burdick Expy. apartment complex, they did find Parker with his wrists slit and found his girlfriend, Karrie Ann Williams, 44, not breathing and with only a faint pulse. Her core temperature while being transported to Trinity Hospital was merely 86 degrees. Parker later told police that he slit his own wrists because he could not live without Williams.

She was resuscitated at the hospital that morning but died later, at around 1 p.m., that day.

State Medical Examiner William Massello performed the autopsy and found that the bruises that had coated her face, chest, legs and elsewhere had been inflicted “over a period of three days to a week” and that some of her ribs and jaw were broken. Internal injuries included a lacerated liver, bruised kidneys and bleeding on the left side of her brain, any of which alone could have caused Williams’ death.

The couple each had blood alcohol levels of .29 percent, or more than triple the limit of .8 percent that law defines as too drunk to drive. Parker, according to the affidavit, admitted to police that the two of them “had been drinking daily.”

He also allegedly admitted that they often fight while drinking and that he had punched her in the face and head, kicked her in the ribs and kicked her head while she was lying on the floor that morning.

His earlier story was that, while intoxicated, she hit her head on the counter and then hit her head on the floor.

Parker has a prior history of violence including one conviction for disorderly conduct and two convictions for domestic violence, both against Williams, in 2013. For the last one, he had been barred from making contact with her for one year, and because he was in the apartment with her when police arrived they initially picked him up for disobeying that court order, a Class A misdemeanor.

According to the prosecutor at the hearing, Parker also has at least one charge of aggravated assault from time spent in Arizona.

Before Northwest District Judge Richard Hagar cut Parker off and reminded him that anything he says at the hearing “can and will” be used against him at trial, Parker said that he had disobeyed his court order and returned to Williams because he had no other connections to the community. The lack of connections to the state, and a confusing former housing history that includes stints in at least Arizona and Ohio, had been used against him by the prosecutor to establish a possible flight risk while arguing against allowing bond.

Due to bond restirctions, Parker is barred from making contact with Williams’ parents, who are based in Arizona.