“The court accepts your guilty pleas to these charges,” said Boone County Circuit Judge William Thompson.
Parsons, 37, agreed to plead guilty to the first-degree murder of his wife and mother-in-law in a plea deal with the Boone County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. One count of sexual assault and one count of kidnapping were dropped in exchange for the plea agreement.
“Our ultimate goal was to get guilty verdicts on the two first-degree murder charges,” said Boone County Prosecuting Attorney Keith Randolph following the hearing this morning in the Circuit Court of the Boone County Courthouse in Madison.
Randolph said the plea deal accomplished three things.
“One is that it ensures a conviction of first-degree murder for both of the deceased victims and it limits his rights to appeal those convictions,” Randolph explained. “The second thing is that it keeps a teenage victim off the stand, so that she doesn’t have to relive the trauma , which is something that is very important in this case, and something we spoke to her about at length. The third thing is that it sets us up so that we can now come in and make our case why there should be no mercy given to Mr. Parsons and he should be sentenced to jail for the rest of his life.”
Parsons sentencing hearing was set for 9:30 a.m., Wednesday, May 1, 2013.
Randolph said more details regarding the horrible crimes would be presented at the sentencing hearing.
Parsons confessed to the crimes to Boone County Chief Deputy Chad Barker after being captured in Kanawha County hiding near the Kanawha River behind Dupont Middle School in Belle/Rand area of eastern Kanawha County. He had apparently set up some type of camp site.
According to investigators at the time of his arrest, Parsons allegedly killed his wife, mother-in-law and raped his 15-year-old step-daughter on the evening of Monday, May 14, and morning of Tuesday, May 15, 2012.
Police said Gloria "Sue" Kinder, Parsons' mother-in-law, and Leighanne Kinder-Parsons, Parsons' wife, were stabbed to death at their home on River Avenue in Bloomingrose.
Prosecutors said Parsons had laid his wife, Leighanne Kinder-Parsons on a bed before cutting her throat, following an argument over money. He then called in sick to work and also called his wife’s work and said she was also sick and would not be reporting to the job.
“He then went downstairs and told others in the house that his wife was upstairs sleeping,” prosecutors said.
Later Parsons took his mother-in-law, Gloria Sue Kinder, upstairs and she found her daughter's body, Leighanne Kinder, with her throat cut.
Gloria Sue Kinder was then confronted by Parsons who then bound her feet and hands and used a sharp instrument to cut her throat, killing her, according to the complaint.
Prosecutors said during the plea hearing that Parsons cut his mother-in-law’s throat while she sat in a recliner chair and then overturned her in the chair and left it on top of her body.
According to the criminal complaint, the 15-year-old told investigators while she was taking a shower about 11 p.m. on May 14, 2012.
Investigators said the juvenile states that's Parsons told her the next morning that he was going to have sex with her. After the victim said no, Parsons told her he killed her mother and grandmother and threatened to kill her if she didn't have sex with him, according to the complaint. Parsons then showed the juvenile the bodies of Gloria Sue Kinder and Leighanne Kinder-Parsons.
According to the complaint, Parsons then forcibly dragged the victim back downstairs to her bedroom and bound her hands and feet to the bed and assaulted her.
The 15-year-old told investigators Parsons stayed at the house until 9 a.m., Tuesday, May 15, 2012. A few hours later the girl was able to break loose from the bindings and go to a neighbor's home for help.
Parsons was captured in the early morning hours of Wedensday, May 16, 2012, in Kanawha County.
“When the evidence comes out at the sentencing hearing it will be clear that Mr. Parsons showed no mercy to any of these victims in this case,” Randolph said. “This is why we believe that no mercy should be given to Mr. Parsons and he should be sentenced to jail for the rest of his life.”