EDNA – Amber Sorensen said in an interview with police that she didn’t intend to shoot her boyfriend.
“I didn’t know what I was doing,” she said in the recorded interview. “I was just really scared.”
Sorensen, 37, shot her boyfriend, 33-year-old Jarrett Paul Parker, in their home on East Church Street in February 2017. She said she grabbed the gun and was aiming for their bathroom window but instead accidentally shot Parker in the chest.
Sorensen is charged with murder, aggravated assault of a family member with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon causing serious bodily injury and manslaughter. She is claiming self-defense.
In the Jackson County Courthouse on Thursday, the jury watched a video that Capt. Bruce McConathy recorded of Sorensen hours after she shot Parker. Sorensen’s face was caked with blood, and her hair was in disarray. She was still wearing her bloodstained gray T-shirt.
In the video, Sorensen choked back sobs as she recounted what happened. She said Parker was angry and lost control that night.
“He was going to shoot me,” she said in the video.
Parker bent Sorensen over the bed, put the gun to her head and beat her head, Sorensen said. He was also strangling her, she said. In past episodes, Sorensen said, Parker would strangle her to the point where she passed out. Parker, who served in the Air Force for 12 years and was taking an antidepressant for PTSD, would apologize afterward, she said.
“He doesn’t mean it when he gets mad,” Sorensen said. “I’m not going to paint a bad picture.”
In the courtroom, Parker’s mother, Debra Taylor, rested her head on her husband Daryl Taylor’s shoulder while she watched the video of Sorensen. Her husband, Parker’s stepfather, put his arm around her.
In the video, Sorensen said she would call Parker’s parents instead of the police to help calm their son down.
After the video ended, McConathy continued his testimony. Tom Dillard, the assistant district attorney, asked McConathy to point out inconsistencies in Sorensen’s account. He said Sorensen gave several reasons why she shot Parker, including aiming for the window and that she shot the gun without aiming. He also said Sorensen didn’t remember Parker pulling back the slide of the gun and denied doing it herself.
The Edna police captain also testified that Sorensen’s breath had a “very strong odor” of alcohol when he interviewed her. McConathy didn’t mention this in his report. Michael Cihal, who’s representing Sorensen, compared that omission to the state’s claim that Sorensen’s story was inconsistent. But McConathy didn’t agree.
“I don’t see the parallel,” he said.
There was also debate between the state and the defense about whether Sorensen had bruises, or whether the red marks on her body was just blood. Michael Yaws, an Edna patrol officer who testified earlier in the trial, said it seemed as if Sorensen had bruises, but it was hard to tell in the dark.