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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Veteran deputy in Marion County resigns after prosecutor refuses to use his testimony

A veteran deputy with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office has resigned after the prosecutor’s office announced it would no longer rely on testimony from him after truthfulness in question.

Joshua Parker
Joshua Parker

On Thursday, sheriff’s office administrators requested MCSO K9 Deputy Joshua Parker be at the MCSO Central Operations Center for the purpose of terminating his employment with the MCSO. Prior to being terminated, Parker submitted his resignation and has been separated from the agency. The events giving rise to Sheriff Billy Woods’ intention to terminate Parker arose from a Feb. 13 letter from State Attorney Brad King, advising that Parker’s testimony would no longer be relied upon by his office. The SAO discovered that Parker was untruthful in two recent cases and they could no longer accept Parker’s testimony to be relied upon for material evidence in any future case, intake, deposition, hearing or trial unless his testimony was corroborated by some other reliable evidence.

The SAO found that Parker gave false testimony during a deposition, and during the subsequent state felony battery trial, of former MCSO deputy Jesse Terrell. Upon receiving the letter of the SAO’s findings and determination, Sheriff Woods suspended Parker with pay. Sheriff Woods ultimately made the decision to terminate Parker from the agency, citing the insurmountable issues the State Attorney’s Office vocalized along with the liability and public concern that would be associated with keeping Parker as a deputy sheriff.

“Integrity, honesty and trust will be the hallmarks of my Administration,” said Sheriff Billy Woods. “As a deputy sheriff, when any one of those three pillars erode or are missing, that employee can no longer be relied upon to carry out the incredible responsibility they are given. I wish Mr. Parker the best as he moves forward, however, I am confident that the right decision for our agency and community was to separate ourselves from Mr. Parker.”

Parker was employed with the MCSO for 13 years and most recently served in the K9 Unit and on the SWAT Team. His assigned K9, Hero, was retired due to age several weeks ago.