Judge calls Sheldon Parker "monster" & sentences him to 40 years - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Judge calls Sheldon Parker 'monster' and sentences him to 40 years

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

He's a man the judge called "selfish" and a "monster" -- and Sheldon Parker faced up to 800 years in prison for the sex crimes he committed against a young teen over a four-year period.

But Parker is sentenced to 40 years, in part, because of a request from his young victim.

As Parker's trial was to start, he pleaded guilty as charged to 40 aggravated sex crime charges.

David Palay prosecuted the case.

"If it had not been for his guilty plea as charged, the District Attorney's Office would have sought the maximum, 800 years," said Palay.

Prosecutors say allowing Parker to plead guilty was in no way aimed at helping him. Instead, it was to prevent a young victim from having to testify during a trial.

"We were concerned in consultations with the victim of the trauma that she would suffer if the trial were to ensue and she would have to relive these events, so we're pleased that the victim was not required to testify in order for justice to be served," said Palay.

As part of the plea, prosecutors promised not to argue that Parker deserves to die in prison.

The defense put on witnesses to show Parker, now 43, has a shortened life span that should be considered so that maybe he walks out of prison one day.

Ted Hartman is Parker's defense attorney. 

"A lot of people die in their early fifties or have serious heart problems in their early fifties, so, regardless of how heinous his crime was, which it was, and it was heinous, he still should be sentenced consistent with what negotiation took place. I felt he should have been able to get out of jail in his early fifties," said Hartman.

Hartman predicts Parker will die in prison if he has to serve 40 years.

"Because I think people in his family have serious heart, health problems that impact them in their fifties and I can't imagine he would get the same level of care in jail and he would out of jail," said Hartman.

However, Palay disagrees. 

"I didn't hear any testimony that Mr. Parker had any peculiar health issues. Rather he was relying upon some unfortunate circumstances of family members who had histories of smoking and other bad behaviors," said Palay.

Parker himself testified since being jailed he's quit smoking and his blood pressure is under control.

Judge David Ritchie called Parker a monster and a predator who manipulated circumstances to victimize a child for four years.

The judge says he expects Parker to stay in prison for 40 years.

Copyright 2013 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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