Claire Careathers, 70, said her daughter called her when she arrived home from the trip and said Sam was drunk and “jumped on her (verbally),” making accusations.
Careathers, who lived next door to the Parkers, said her daughter was so upset she said she might spend the night with her.
Sam Parker’s trial began Monday in Walker County Superior Court in downtown LaFay-ette before Judge Jon “Bo” Wood. It is expected to last three weeks.
The jury, consisting of nine women and six men (including three alternates), was picked last week from Bartow County. It is not being sequestered. The jurors are being bused daily to and from Bartow.
Sam is accused of killing Theresa, who was last seen on March 21, 2007. Her body has never been found.
The couple were in the process of getting a divorce and moving out of their house on Cor-dell Road in LaFayette. Theresa was in the process of moving to an apartment in Fort Ogle-thorpe. Sam was staying in the house of his recently deceased father; the house was in Trion. At the time Sam was a sergeant with the LaFayette Police Department.
Careathers said Theresa called her on Wednesday, March 14, when she arrived at her trip’s destination in Gatlinburg. She said Theresa said she was tired and ready to go to bed so she could get up early to go shopping.
The next time she spoke to her daughter, she said, was Friday, March 16, when Theresa was returning home from the trip. She said Theresa told her Sam had called her twice on her way through Chickamauga Battlefield park.
Careathers said she and Theresa would talk three or four times a week and that Theresa would always answer or call her back.
Careathers said the last time she talked to her daughter was Tuesday, March 20.
She said Theresa’s sister Christina called her on Friday, March 23, worried that she couldn't reach Theresa by phone. Careathers said she began to call Theresa’s cell and land-line phones. She said she and her husband Greg were very upset and worried.
Her husband reported Theresa missing on Friday night, March 23, she said, and Walker County sheriff’s deputy Bruce Coker responded to call.
Careathers said Sam came by her house Saturday night, March 24, and she asked him why he had not reported Theresa missing. She said Sam said he had to work and sleep. Careath-ers said she asked him, “How can you sleep when your wife is missing?”
Careathers said Sam seemed emotional that night and as he was leaving he backed into the ditch and a wrecker had to pull out his vehicle.
Careathers recalled an incident in 1994 when she allowed her husband Greg, who did not have a driver’s license, to drive her car. He was arrested and spent 12 days in jail, she said.
As cops were arresting him, she asked the officers who had informed them her husband was driving and they said that Sam told them.
She and Sam argued over the matter, she said, and Sam threatened her, saying that if she or her husband crossed the property line at his house, he would kill them and get rid of their bodies.
Asked why she did not call the police, Careathers said, "He was the police. It would have done no good."
After a short mid-morning recess, the trial resumed with testimony from one of Theresa’s co-workers at Walker County 911.
Rebecca Brown recalled times with the couple. She said Sam drank a lot, sometimes out of glasses and sometimes out of clear water bottles.
Brown said that in 2004 Theresa said Sam had thrown her belongings outside and hit her, and that she needed police. Walker County deputy Bruce Coker responded to the call.
District attorney Leigh Patterson played audios from 911 in which Sam talked to Brown about Theresa’s trip to Gatlinburg, her possibly seeing another man and requesting help with identifying a number.
The first CD recording was recorded the day before Theresa was last seen. On the CD Sam says, in the course of the conversation:
“Ever see her with anybody?”
“I caught her red-handed.”
“She’s already got an apartment.”
“Two weeks after my dad died, she goes to the Smokies and hooks up with some dude.”
“I’m in shock.”
“Let me call her again and see about this guy.”
“If it weren’t for my medication, I would be up the river.”
“I really don’t care. … I’m curious, but not ‘curious’ curious.”
“I absolutely don’t know what the (expletive) to do.”
“$8,400 a year for an apartment.”
“I thought we were doing great. Evidently not. I don’t know what to do.”
The second audio was of Sam asking Brown to help him identify a number. Sam called her back several times, wanting more help in identifying the number.