William Joseph Parker, the Prince George's County man accused of killing a 13-year-old girl whose body was found in Bowie last summer, was arrested "after he confessed" to the killing, a county police detective testified at Parker's pretrial hearing yesterday.
Cpl. Earl W. Jones told Circuit Court Judge Howard S. Chasanow tht he arrested Parker Sept. 15 and charged him with the murder of Elizabeth Archard after Parker told detective dWallace Sibila that he had committed the crime.
Jones' testimony came at a pretrial hearing called to determine if Parker's statement should be admitted as evidence in his trial, which is scheduled to start Jan. 22.
Archard, who lived in Annapolis, was found shot to death Aug. 29 in a wooded area of Bowie about one-fourth of a mile from the Prince George's-Anne Arundel County border. Subsequent tests showed she had been raped before being shot five times in the neck.
Paper, a volunteer fireman who drifted from one fire department to another, was arrested Sept. 15 after about nine hours of questioning by police.
"I ordered him arrested just after midnight when Sibila came out and said that Parker had confessed to the killing," Jones testified. "Until then we were just questioning him."
At one point during Jones' tow hours of testimony, Chasanow cleared the courtroom briefly. "Hearsay evidence on reasons why the arrest was made could be extremely damaging and is not necessarily reliable," Chasanow said explaining his decision.
Assistant State's Attorney Edmund B. O'Connell has filed a motion saying tht the state will seek the death penalty if Parker is found guilty. This is the first death penalty case in Prince George's since the new death penalty law went into effect in Maryland on July 1.