New revelations in case of man accused of shooting wife

by: Mike Petchenik Updated:

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. - The man accused of shooting his wife eight times outside their Sandy Springs apartment was communicating with a woman he was secretly engaged to while trying to run from investigators, court records show.

Michael Parson, 42, faces charges he shot his wife, Adina Parson, in April outside their apartment on Roswell Road. At first, police said they didn't consider Michael Parson a suspect. But court records later said he had lied to police about his whereabouts at the time of the shooting and that cellphone records put him at the scene.

According to evidence reviewed by Channel 2's Mike Petchenik, while Parson was fleeing, he sent emails to a woman named Rachel Harner, who, in turn, provided the information to detectives. Petchenik previously reported that Parson worked with Harner at a Dunwoody pet store, and the two were engaged to marry in October.

"Coming home will mean lots of trouble for me but I don't really care about that," Parson wrote in an email to Harner on May 4, just two days before his arrest, according to court documents.

The documents show that in another email that same day, Parson wrote: "I think that so much damage has been done already. You already know that I will do whatever it takes for us to be happy and that the only thing I'm truly afraid of is being without you...I'm sorry I let us down."

In one exchange, the evidence shows Harner lashed out at Parson for lying to her about his life.

"I had to find out from them (police) that you were married, that you're damn aunt was really your wife and was hurt," Harner wrote Parson, according to documents. "All those things I should have known, instead I found out from complete strangers."

The evidence also shows that Parson was keeping a diary of his days on the run, outlining his feelings for Harner and his apparent remorse over what happened.

"All I could think about is the trouble I had brought on Rachel and my family," police said Parson wrote in a letter they later recovered. "I'm so sorry for what has happened. I could have handled it a lot better in hindsight."

In part of his journal, the evidence shows Parson told Harner to write a novel about the situation, calling it the "story of a smart, good looking and seemingly easy-going man who lives at least 2-3 complete lives at once but is in love with the same woman in them all."

Police said Parson also revealed in his writings that he attempted suicide three times after officers started questioning him about the case. He wrote that his plan was to steal a car and leave undetected, according to documents.

"I was headed back home to clear up as much of this situation as possible…but I didn't make it back to Atlanta before running afowl of the law," he wrote Harner in a letter from the Van Zandt County jail, police said. "I promise you that you were the ONLY person in my heart."

Petchenik called Parson's defense attorney, Robert Booker, for comment, but didn't receive a call back.

An attorney unrelated to the case told Petchenik that based on the evidence he's seen, Parson will have a tough time defending against the charges.

"That would clearly be motive; evidence to show there's a second family out there, as well as a confession," said attorney Manny Arora. "That's going to be hard for the defense to explain in a different context aside from [what] logically comes to mind."

Parson remains in the Fulton County jail without a bond. Prosecutors said his trial will likely take place early next year.

Meantime, a close friend of victim Adina Parson told Petchenik that she is out of inpatient rehabilitation at the Shepherd Center and is undergoing outpatient physical therapy.

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