Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Slaying suspect charged


Former server at Applebee's already jailed

By William A. Weathers
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[photo]
Mark Smith
[photo]
David Parsons
CRESTVIEW HILLS - A former Applebee's employee has been charged in the shooting death of restaurant manager Mark Smith last year.

Kenton County police have served an arrest warrant for David Parsons, who is in custody in the Hamilton County (Ind.) Jail, and their officers were on the way to pick him up, Sgt. Eric Gilbert said Tuesday evening.

Parsons had been held in the Noblesville, Ind., jail on a theft charge, said Gilbert, a shift sergeant at the jail.

Kenton County police have scheduled a news conference for noon today to provide an update on the Smith homicide.

Kenton County and Lakeside Park/Crestview Hills police departments are conducting a joint investigation in the fatal shooting of Smith last April 27.

Smith's widow, Stacy Smith of Burlington, said Tuesday that Kenton County police told her about the warrant.

"I'm relieved, but it's like I'm having to relive everything," she said.

Mark Smith, 36, was shot near the parking lot entrance of the Applebee's Neighborhood Bar & Grill at 30 Crestview Hills Mall Road after closing the restaurant on a Sunday morning.

His body was found by a cleaning crew about 4:30 a.m.

Nothing was taken from the restaurant.

Stacy Smith said Parsons, in his mid-40s, was an employee her husband "had problems with."

Her husband wanted to fire Parsons, who worked as a server at the restaurant, after patrons complained about him, but upper management transferred him to another restaurant in Florence, she said.

Parsons was upset with her husband's action, Smith said.

"He did threaten to ruin his life," said the mother of couple's two sons, ages 5 and 7. "My husband was a 6-foot-6 Marine. I never had seen anybody shake him up, but this guy did."

Bill Campion, executive vice president of Thomas & King, the Lexington-based owner of the restaurant, previously described Smith as an "exemplary" manager.

"He was a good guy, well-liked, a model for a manager," he said. "He treated people well and stood up for what was right. He wasn't afraid to hold people accountable, but was very well-respected."

WCPO-TV contributed to this report. E-mail bweathers@enquirer.com




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