March 11, 2014 10:21:22 AM
ABERDEEN -- A Monroe County jury Monday convicted a man, a second time, of murder in the death of his wife.
Jurors deliberated for almost four hours after hearing nearly two hours of closing arguments in the murder case against David Parvin, 76, the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports.
Parvin received an automatic life sentence.
Parvin, a retired professor of agricultural economics at Mississippi State University, was charged with killing his wife on Oct. 15, 2007. He told emergency responders that day he was walking down the hallway in their home with a loaded shotgun, on his way to shoot a beaver in their backyard, when he tripped and accidentally shot her.
A jury previously convicted Parvin, but the Mississippi Supreme Court ordered a new trial after ruling improper testimony was heard during the first trial.
Assistant District Attorney Paul Gault, in his closing argument, said no one who accidentally shot anyone would leave the body contorted the way Joyce Parvin was found.
"I don't know why (David Parvin) washed his hands, but it sure wasn't to get the blood off because he didn't lift a finger," Gault said. "Do you mean to tell me after accidentally killing your spouse you let her lay there twisted, contorted, upside down with her head almost touching the floor? That's an accident?"
Parvin's attorney, Rachel Pierce Waide, said no matter what Parvin did, the prosecuting attorneys would have called his crime scene demeanor into question.
"I guarantee you that if he had been crying at the scene you would be hearing from the prosecution it was all an act," she said. "They got him either way. You can't judge innocence or guilt whether they're crying or not. You also heard he didn't touch her. That's about the same. Don't we all know not to move an accident victim?"
The defense argued that if he was going to shoot a beaver, he could have shot the beaver from his back porch, which was accessible from his bedroom where the gun was stored, instead of walking past his wife, through the front door and back around the house.
In Parvin's statement from the previous trial, which was read from the witness stand, he said he avoided using the back door because it scared the beavers off before he could shoot them.
Parvin's grandson told jurors during the trial that he has seen his grandfather shoot beavers from the back porch.
The defense maintained, in their closing statement, Parvin had nothing to gain and everything to lose by his wife's death, while prosecutors said his extramarital affairs showed his willingness to start over with another woman was motive enough.
Parvin has been in the Monroe County Jail since his conviction was vacated and he was released from state prison. His bail was revoked by Circuit Judge Paul Funderburk when Parvin got into an altercation with Monroe County deputies when Parvin insisted he be allowed to go home after his transfer from prison.