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Cornelius Parks

Other Misdemeanor Assault Exonerations
https://www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration/PublishingImages/Cornelius_Parks%20(1).jpg
On August 1, 2011, 27-year-old Cassie Parks filed a complaint in Kemper County, Mississippi accusing her 30-year-old husband, Cornelius, of pushing her and slapping her on July 30, 2011.

Justice Court Judge Mary Gully issued an arrest warrant, and on August 4, Parks was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence.

Five days later, Parks went to trial and Judge Gully heard the case without a jury. Cassie Parks testified that Parks pushed and slapped her after coming home from work as a police officer.

Parks testified and denied slapping or pushing her. He said he came home early from work and found their six children—ranging in age from two months to 10 years old—unattended while food was cooking on the stove. Cassie was next door at her mother’s home. Parks said they quarreled after he confronted her about text messages she had sent to another man that Parks said were inappropriate.

Judge Linda Wright convicted Parks of misdemeanor domestic violence, and ordered Parks to pay a fine and court costs totaling $218.50.

On September 6, 2011, Parks posted a $449 payment as a bond to secure his appeal to Kemper County Circuit Court Judge. Circuit Court Judge Robert Bailey subsequently set the case for a trial on July 18, 2014. However, the prosecution argued that Parks’s appeal was procedurally defective—that he had paid a filing fee, but failed to file a bond. In October, Judge Bailey granted the prosecution’s motion and Parks’s appeal was dismissed.

Parks’s attorney, David Linder, appealed the dismissal. In December 2015, the Mississippi Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the case to the Circuit Court for trial.

The prosecution asked the appeals court to rehear the case, but that motion was denied in May 2016. The prosecution then sought permission to appeal to the Mississippi Supreme Court, but that was denied in June 2016.

Attorney Stephen Wilson defended Parks when the case went to trial a second time on August 7, 2017 before Circuit Court Judge Justin Cobb, who heard the case without a jury. Cassie and Parks again testified as they did in the prior trial. At this trial, however, the defense called 16-year-old Cameron Parks—the couple’s son—who was not called as a witness at 2011 trial. Cameron testified that his father did not push or slap Cassie.

On August 7, 2017, Judge Cobb acquitted Parks.

– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date: 8/18/2017
State:Mississippi
County:Kemper
Most Serious Crime:Assault
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:2011
Convicted:2011
Exonerated:2017
Sentence:Fine
Race:Black
Sex:Male
Age at the date of crime:30
Contributing Factors:Perjury or False Accusation, Inadequate Legal Defense
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No