Dog-killing suspect attacked cellmate, police say
A man accused of killing his dog with a hammer and a knife last week allegedly tried to kill his Jackson County Jail cellmate over the weekend, officials said.
James Jay Parker, 51, was arraigned Tuesday in Jackson County Circuit Court on charges of attempted aggravated murder, first- and second-degree assault and strangulation for the alleged attack on 66-year-old Michael Alan Hill. According to a probable cause affidavit, Parker attempted to kill Hill because "he believed Hill was attempting to steal his soul through the bottoms of his feet."
The document alleges Parker choked Hill with his hands, then beat Hill's head against a concrete floor.
"Parker said he then tied a bed sheet around Hill's neck to 'finish him off,'" the affidavit states. "Parker said Hill never attacked him physically. Parker believed he had killed Hill until we told him he had not."
The cell's floor is listed in court documents as a "dangerous weapon" that Parker allegedly used to try to kill Hill.
"A dangerous weapon can be anything that when used can cause serious physical injury or death," Deputy District Attorney Laura Cromwell said.
Hill was hospitalized for his injuries at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center, but has since been released and is back in the jail. He is held on burglary, theft and car theft charges, according to jail records. He was originally lodged on Sept. 4, 2015.
Parker is now lodged alone in a cell, according to jail officials. Jackson County sheriff's Capt. Dan Penland said deciding how to place inmates charged with violent crimes is a collaborative process, with input from arresting deputies, command staff and mental health professionals.
"With a case like that, it’s not just one person making a decision," Penland said.
Court records show a preliminary hearing on the case is scheduled for Jan. 26.
Parker originally was arrested at 10:30 a.m. Jan. 12 after he allegedly clubbed and stabbed his dog to death, reportedly because it had "bad ju ju." He was indicted on charges of first-degree animal abuse and being a felon in possession of a firearm in that case on Jan. 19. His next court appearance is scheduled for Thursday.