FULTON COUNTY, Ga. - In the days after police said a Sandy Springs man shot his wife eight times outside their apartment, court records obtained by Channel 2 Action News and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution show the suspect went to great lengths to cover his tracks and to hide an apparent double life with a secret fiancée.
Michael Parson, 42, faces aggravated assault and other charges stemming from the April
20 shooting of his wife, Adina.
According to a search warrant affidavit, when Michael Parson arrived at the scene that night, police had suspicions about an alibi that he was receiving cancer treatments at the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Decatur.
After detectives obtained phone records that put Parson at the scene, records show investigators began conducting surveillance on him. The warrant said at one point Parson confronted police at the hospital where his wife was recovering, "acknowledging he knew he was being followed."
In the days after the shooting, the warrant said detectives interviewed a friend who told police he'd spent the evening with Parson the night of the shooting. The man, who is not being identified, told detectives Parson dropped him off at a MARTA station so that he could go to the VA for back treatments.
Documents said the man later retracted his story and admitted Parson had asked him to pose as him at the hospital emergency room.
"(He) did not know about all the lies that M. Parson had been living by and felt used by M. Parson," the warrant said of Parson's friend.
The warrant said that detectives searched Parson's apartment and garage, finding a used firearm target, shell casings, ammunition and marijuana paraphernalia.
The warrant said on April 25, detectives learned that Parson was having an affair with another woman, whom Channel 2 Action News has decided only to name as "Rachel," a Marine reservist whom Channel 2's Mike Petchenik has confirmed once worked with Parson at a Dunwoody pet store where he was a manager and she was his subordinate.
Rachel told police she was engaged to be married to Parson in October and that he told her Adina was his "aunt."
According to the warrant, Parson and the woman spent three nights at a Norcross motel in the days after the shooting and used prepaid cellphones to communicate with one another.
Petchenik spoke with Rachel by phone about the situation. She texted him a statement.
"Michael Parson and I were in a relationship," she wrote. "I had no idea he was married. I've been cooperating with the police to the best of my ability, and my thoughts and prayers are with Adina and her family."
The warrant said on June 11, Rachel contacted police to say she'd been storing a .32 caliber gun for her "former boyfriend" since 2010 at a self-storage facility in Norcross and that she believed it was still there.
The warrant said Parson was known to share the facility with Rachel and even paid some of the rent from time to time. Records showed that Parson entered a unit at the facility on April 15 then returned several times after the shooting, in one case, to leave a letter for his fiancée.
A spokeswoman for the Fulton County District Attorney's office wouldn't confirm whether police had recovered the gun or if that gun had been used to shoot Adina Parson.
Using financial records, police were able to track Parson to Texas, where he was arrested May 5 near El Paso. He remains in the Fulton County Jail without bond.
Petchenik spoke to Parson's ex-wife, Ying Amat, who reiterated that Parson's family and close friends had no idea about the other woman.
"It's almost like he's a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," said Amat from her home in Charlotte. "Definitely not the Michael I knew."
Amat, who has a son with Michael Parson, told Petchenik she spoke to him the night of the shooting and that he told her was going to spend time in a recording studio.
"He was an aspiring artist," she said.
The next day, Amat said Parson called her to break news of the shooting, telling her that the shooter had stolen Adina's credit cards and cellphone. The warrant said police found Adina's cellphone in her hand after the shooting. Amat said she wanted to believe Parson was innocent, but the evidence seems to say otherwise.
"This is the craziest stuff I've ever heard," she said. "It doesn't look good."
Monday, Adina Parson's family sent Petchenik a statement about her recovery.
“Our family continues to focus fully on Adina's health and recovery. She is making progress during this rehabilitation period (at the Shepherd Center) and we will remain hopeful and grateful to God that Adina will make a full recovery. We would like to take a moment to thank everyone for their thoughts and kind expressions and ask that everyone continue to pray for Adina's healing. Thank you."