By Jim Hannah
The Cincinnati Enquirer
CRESTVIEW HILLS - The widow of slain Applebee's manager Mark Smith sobbed as a judge heard details of a confession that led to an arrest in the year-old case.
Family members of Mark Smith react during David Parsons' preliminary hearing in Kenton County District Court. Parsons is charged with murder in Smith's shooting death.
The Cincinnati Enquirer/MEGGAN BOOKER
"David Parsons told me he murdered Mark Smith," said Kenton County Detective Wayne Wallace, the only person to testify during Parsons' preliminary hearing Wednesday afternoon in Kenton County District Court.
"He told me he shot him in the head one time," Wallace said as he used his finger to point to his head to illustrate where the bullet entered the skull.
Family members and friends comforted Smith's widow, Stacy, as Wallace told the judge the bullet lodged in Mark Smith's neck . She is raising the couple's two sons, who were 6 and 4 at the time of the death.
Parsons, who appeared in court shackled and wearing an orange prison jumpsuit, said nothing during the hearing as public defender Mary Rafizadeh questioned the detective.
"How many suspects were there in this case?" asked Rafizadeh.
"There were many," Wallace said, adding he questioned Smith's employees, neighbors and friends.
Parsons has pleaded not guilty to a single count of murder. He is being held at the Kenton County jail on no bond.
Wallace said police had recovered one bullet and one casing from a .380-caliber handgun. Detectives have been searching for the gun used in the crime since Parsons' arrest on April 13.
When asked how many times he has talked to Parsons, Wallace said maybe a dozen times. He said Parsons confessed, on tape, during the last two interviews.
An unsealed affidavit in the case says police believe Parsons shot Smith, 36, at close range in the early morning hours of April 27 because he blamed Smith for his getting transferred and eventually fired from Applebee's. A cleaning crew found Smith's body at 4:30 a.m. in the restaurant parking lot. He had been shot once in the face.
Parsons told police, according to the affidavit, that he didn't intend to kill Smith. Detectives said that during an interview the day before his arrest on the murder charge, Parsons said he "snapped due to all the stressors in his life, including his differences with Mark Smith."
After hearing the evidence, Judge Frank Trusty ruled there was enough evidence to continue to hold Parsons and ordered the case bound over to a grand jury.
A confrontation then took place between relatives of Parsons and of Mark Smith, who were wearing photo badges with his picture. Deputies quickly defused the situation when they threatened to arrest anyone who didn't follow courtroom etiquette.
It was unclear what caused the exchange of words.
Randy Compton, Mark Smith's father-in-law, who was visibly upset after the confrontation, said: "I want the judicial system to do what it does best. We have all the faith in the world in Detective Wallace, the prosecuting attorney. We loved Mark."
The Parsons family left the courthouse without talking to reporters. They couldn't be reached for comment later in the afternoon.
Brace for more airport noise
Feds take over probe of pastor in N.Ky.
The light's on for Matt
Lynch family understands
IN THE TRISTATE
Suit attacks store's policy
Truckin' Bozo's buggin' out for good
Luken complains of 'bureaucratic nightmare'
Earth Day, 34, credited with big change
Earth Day events
Road projects competitive
Council members differ on flights out of Lunken
Monroe asks into Ohio 63 planning
Mt. Healthy hires administrator
Local effort led to new center
Bill to ID judicial donors gets big push
Lawmakers reviving video slots at tracks
Public safety briefs
Maynard Ferguson to bring his jazz band to Anderson
Soldier's family grieves, prays
Digging collapsed Summit
Kristen's death a lesson
Bronson: Reformers meandered, but hit truth
Organ recipient keeps giving back
Mary Blase, supporter of arts in city
Dick Fraley led athletic program at Fenwick Club
Lexington's final call likely to be 2:30 a.m.
Applebee's slaying described
Crowley: Budget blame game spills into Senate election race
Bell-making in Newport makes for riveting TV
Zoning panel bars Burlington subdivision
Roster for judge job now at five
Library board sued over pick for Independence site
Kentucky News Briefs
Team brings life to classic artworks
School chief jobs vacant