Family of police officer fights to keep his murderer behind bars - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Family of police officer fights to keep his murderer behind bars

Duncan_The family of the only police officer ever killed in the line of duty in Duncan is fighting to keep his murderer behind bars.  It has been almost 24 years since Officer Jack James was gunned down at Clear Creek Lake, and since then, two juries have convicted Arthur Parks for his murder.  Both juries recommended Parks spend life in prison, but he now is up for parole for the fourth time in a decade.

The James family says it has been difficult to process.  Every three years since 2000, they have had to relive the horrible, life-changing, event in an effort to convince the Pardon and Parole Board to keep Parks locked up - now, they have to do it again. 

Cheryl James Huffmaster remembers the shots that he and her husband heard from their home the night James was killed.  "We heard shots fire, and he jumped up and grabbed his gun and said, ‘I've got to go across the lake, somebody might need help.'  He said he'd be back, and we never saw him again."

Arthur Parks was shooting a gun into the water and ambuhed Officer James when he walked up to him.  "Once he was down, he was shot twice more in the head, and I heard those shots and I knew they didn't sound like the first ones," said Huffmaster.  "I can think of no more heinous or atrocious crime that has been committed against somebody," said Duncan Police Chief Jeff Johnson.  "My father prosecuted the case," said District Attorney Brett Burns.  "I was a kid - probably 15 - and I saw the crime scene photos.  That kind of spurred me to want to be a prosecutor - to right that wrong."

Prosecutors, police, and Huffmaster say they want to ensure Arthur Parks never sees freedom for his crime.  Jurors did not give him the death sentence and life-without-parole was not an option in the 1980s when Parks was convicted - not once, but twice.  The second conviction came the first conviction was overturned.  "That jury believed they were giving the man a life sentence, and that's what he deserves."  They say they will protest each time Parks comes up for parole as long as he is alive. 

Under the law there are two phases of the parole process.  "We're not allowed to protest in person on the first stage," said Burns.  "What we do with some of the violent offenders - like Mr. Parks - is we will protest by letter, and say please don't pass him to the next stage."

Burns and Huffmaster say the Pardon and Parole Board has the ability to put Parks on a five-year cycle for parole consideration.  The past four times he has come up, they have refused to do so.  Parks' hearing for the first phase of parole consideration is set for later this month.

Count on 7News to let you know what they decide.
  • Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • LGBTQ allies celebrate as two discriminatory bills fail

    LGBTQ allies celebrate as two discriminatory bills fail

    Friday, March 24 2017 5:56 PM EDT2017-03-24 21:56:52 GMT

    Two LGBTQ Bills did not pass the state Senate. Senate Bill 694 would have stripped Tulsa, Oklahoma City and Norman’s ability to protect against discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation in housing and employment. It also would have prevented other municipalities from passing similar ordinances.  

    Two LGBTQ Bills did not pass the state Senate. Senate Bill 694 would have stripped Tulsa, Oklahoma City and Norman’s ability to protect against discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation in housing and employment. It also would have prevented other municipalities from passing similar ordinances.  

  • Democratic budget plan eliminates tax breaks to fill $878 million gap

    Democratic budget plan eliminates tax breaks to fill $878 million gap

    Friday, March 24 2017 5:49 PM EDT2017-03-24 21:49:23 GMT

    On Thursday during the seventh week of the legislative session, Democrats laid out their plan to bridge an estimated $878 million budget gap and offer teachers promised raises. According to KWTV, democrats unveiled their plan to the media to raise $1.3 billion in revenue by simply rolling back income, corporate and oil tax breaks. They consider the plan a better alternative to the Governor's plan to raise taxes on services by $840 million.

    On Thursday during the seventh week of the legislative session, Democrats laid out their plan to bridge an estimated $878 million budget gap and offer teachers promised raises. According to KWTV, democrats unveiled their plan to the media to raise $1.3 billion in revenue by simply rolling back income, corporate and oil tax breaks. They consider the plan a better alternative to the Governor's plan to raise taxes on services by $840 million.

  • No repeal for 'Obamacare' _ a humiliating defeat for Trump

    No repeal for 'Obamacare' _ a humiliating defeat for Trump

    Friday, March 24 2017 5:48 PM EDT2017-03-24 21:48:01 GMT
    Friday, March 24 2017 5:48 PM EDT2017-03-24 21:48:01 GMT

    Republicans have set course for a climactic House vote on their health care overhaul.

    Republicans have set course for a climactic House vote on their health care overhaul.

Powered by Frankly