EDNA – When Amber Sorensen called 911 on Feb. 7, 2017, she was so hysterical, the dispatcher couldn’t understand her.
“He tried to kill me,” Sorensen sobbed. She was referring to her boyfriend, 33-year-old Jarrett Paul Parker, who was lying on their bedroom floor at 202 East Church St. in Edna. His face and chest were covered with his own blood. Sorensen’s gray T-shirt and jeans were also stained with blood.
In the Jackson County courtroom Wednesday, Sorensen shook as she listened to a recording of her 911 call. Her shoulders trembled. A jury of eight men and four women also listened.
Sorensen, 37, 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. Earlier in the day, the prosecution delivered its opening statement.
Tom Dillard, the Jackson County assistant district attorney, said Sorensen and Parker had been living together for a year and had been dating since 2015.
“They had their ups and downs,” Dillard told the jury.
The prosecutor said the couple had argued that day through text messaging about money while Parker was in class at the University of Houston-Victoria. After dinner and board games with Sorensen and her three children, Parker went to bed at 10 p.m. Almost three hours later, Sorensen made the 911 call after she shot Parker with a .40-caliber semi-automatic handgun.
Officer Michael Yaws, a prosecution witness, was the first to arrive at the scene. He saw Sorensen, whose breathing was ragged, waiting for him at her front door. Yaws took 299 photos of the scene. He took photos of the bed, where the camouflage printed handgun was located. He took photos of Parker’s body, which showed no sign of a pulse when Yaws checked it earlier. He also took a photo of the entry wound.
The bullet entered through Parker’s upper right chest, said Dr. Leisha Wood, the deputy medical examiner for Travis County, who performed the autopsy. She said the bullet followed a “fairly straight pathway.” First, it perforated the carotid artery, then it hit the windpipe, aorta and pulmonary artery. The bullet then fractured parts of the spine before landing in the spinal cord. There was no exit wound, Wood said.
Wood also testified that Parker had a medication called Bupropion, an antidepressant and anti-smoking aid, in his system when he died. He also had a .08% blood-alcohol level.
Yaws took photos of a box of red wine and an empty whiskey bottle on the kitchen counter. Michael Cihal, Sorensen’s attorney, had the medical examiner read a document that said the medication Parker was taking wasn’t supposed to be mixed with alcohol.
Emotions ran high in the courtroom during testimony; Sorensen and her family were both clutching crumpled up tissues. Her family filled the first two rows of the defense’s side of the gallery, with others in the back. Parker’s family and friends filled the first five rows behind the prosecutor.
Judge Robert Bell cautioned the people in the gallery not to display favoritism that might influence the jury.