EDNA – A police investigator Tuesday confirmed that Jarrett Parker did not deny his girlfriend’s allegations of physical abuse in texts sent in the hours before he was killed in the 2017 shooting.
Stephen Cihal, Amber Sorensen’s defense attorney, cross-examined investigator Kent Bubela during his second day on the witness stand.
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. Sorensen is charged with the crimes in connection with the fatal shooting of Parker in their Edna home. Sorensen has said the shooting was self-defense.
Both Cihal and Tom Dillard, the assistant district attorney for Jackson County, analyzed dozens of texts between Sorensen and Parker from an argument Feb. 6, before the early morning Feb. 7 shooting. In the texts, the couple argued about money issues and their plans to buy a house. Sorensen threatened to kick Parker out of the home they were sharing at the time.
“If you want to hold the house against me, you will be living there by yourself,” a text from Sorensen reads during the middle of the argument, according to records of the texts displayed and read aloud in court Tuesday. “I’m not taking your verbal abuse just because you stopped hitting me.”
During cross-examination, Cihal pointed out the portions of their texts in which Sorensen stated or implied that her boyfriend was abusive.
“Is there anything in the responsive comments from Mr. Parker that deny that?” Cihal asked.
“No, sir,” Bubela responded.
Bubela confirmed after several text exchanges that Parker did not deny any of Sorensen’s allegations.
“Is it OK for a man to hurt a woman if he just leaves little bruises?” Cihal asked.
“No, sir,” Bubela responded.
Before Cihal cross-examined the investigator, prosecutors continued to question Sorensen’s account of the night of the shooting. Sorensen told investigators Parker punched her multiple times, beat her head and threw her down to the ground before dragging her by the hair and throwing her onto the bed. Dillard asked Bubela about photos he took of Sorensen during a Feb. 9 interview after the shooting.
“The photos of any injuries we see … are those – any injuries that we see in those photos – are they indicative of assault having occurred as she described it?” Dillard asked.
“No, sir,” Bubela answered.
Also Tuesday, Dillard replayed all two hours and 30 minutes of Sorensen’s grand jury testimony. He regularly stopped the testimony to point out inconsistencies between the accounts Sorensen gave to investigators in the days after the shooting and her account from the grand jury testimony.
Dillard also questioned Sorensen’s account of the night of the shooting, including her claim that Parker was holding his gun while they were arguing and that he dropped it after she hit him on the arm.