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More than two-and-a-half years after the shooting death of 33-year-old James E. Bailey, prosecutors reached a plea agreement with his alleged killer, Jason E. Parr.
Parr quietly answered, “Guilty,” to five of seven indicted charges as Judge Karen Conrad read them aloud on Tuesday.
Parr pled guilty to charges of murder, burglary, possession of a handgun by a convicted felon and two counts of wanton endangerment.
As part of the deal, the prosecution waived charges of tampering with physical evidence and being a persistent felon.
Parr was asked to recall in his own words what happened on Feb. 1, 2009, the day Parr and his alleged accomplice, Raymond Carrion II, entered Bailey’s La Grange apartment.
He described going to Bailey’s house intending to “rob him of his drugs” and breaking a window to obtain entry into the house.
Parr said Bailey “came at” him, and during an altercation, Parr pulled the trigger.
“After everything went bad, I just left,” he said.
Autopsy results show Bailey suffered two gunshot wounds – one in the arm and another that nicked his heart and lungs.
Two children were in the home at the time of the murder and are the cause for the wanton endangerment charge, as a third bullet lodged in the wall near their bedroom.
Commonwealth Attorney Barry Moore originally sought the death penalty in the case.
Moore said he was unable to discuss Parr’s plea agreement because of the pending case against co-defendant Raymond M. Carrion II.
Parr’s plea agreement comes with recommended sentences of 30 years for murder, a class A felony; 20 years for first-degree burglary; 10 years for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon; and five years for each of the two wanton endangerment charges.
Moore said the agreement is for Parr to serve the murder and burglary sentence consecutively, meaning a 50-year sentence, while the other charges will run concurrent with a 50-year recommended sentence.
He will receive credit for time already served – about 960 days.
State law mandates Parr serve 85 percent of his sentence before becoming eligible for parole, as he is considered a violent offender convicted of a class A felony.
A mistrial in Carrion’s case was issued in July after the number of available jurors dwindled significantly.
The 90-person jury pool was cut to 57 by the second day of jury selection after 15 jurors were excused for various reasons.
Carrion’s attorneys filed a motion for mistrial, claiming the dismissal of 15 jurors — 20.8 percent of the remaining pool — denied Carrion his right to a fair and impartial jury of his peers.
Carrion’s charges include complicity to commit burglary, complicity to commit murder and two counts wanton endangerment.
He claims he did not know Parr had a weapon until they entered Bailey’s apartment.
Carrion’s trial is set to begin March 12. He is housed in the Shelby County Jail.
Parr remains in Oldham County jail, although his attorneys filed a request Tuesday to move him to another facility for undisclosed reasons.
Parr’s attorney’s requested that he move to the Carroll County jail.
Conrad said she will discuss Parr’s lodging with Oldham County Jailer Mike Simpson to validate concerns that Bailey’s connections to the community have made Parr’s time in the jail difficult.
Parr will be sentenced on Oct. 7.