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Body Left on Train Tracks : Marine Found Guilty in Woman's Murder

August 19, 1986|JERRY HICKS | Times Staff Writer

A 24-year-old Marine corporal stationed at El Toro Marine Corps Air Station was convicted of first-degree murder Monday in the death of a Los Angeles woman whose body was hit by a train in Anaheim a year ago.

James Lee Parker admitted in a videotaped conversation with Anaheim police that he had shot 22-year-old Kelly Devon Tucker on Oct. 27, 1985, but claimed he was forced to do it because he thought she was trying to set him up to be robbed.

"Obviously the jury didn't buy that," Deputy Dist. Atty. Wallace J. Wade said.

The videotape was the primary evidence against him.

Parker, from Raytown, Tex., did not testify, and his attorney, George Peters, offered very little evidence in Parker's defense. But Peters did accomplish his primary goal for the trial: Before the jury began its deliberations last Thursday, Superior Court Judge Kathleen O'Leary dismissed the special allegations of rape and attempted rape that would have permitted prosecutors to seek the death penalty.

The woman's body was run over by a train near the Brookhurst Street overpass just south of the Santa Ana Freeway. Drag marks indicated that the body had been deliberately placed on the tracks.

She was found by railroad workers with her clothes pulled up around her waist. She had been shot in the back of the head.

Anaheim police began to investigate Parker after learning that he had been seen with her at a friend's house in South-Central Los Angeles. After learning that Parker had recently bought a gun of the type used to shoot Tucker, he was questioned by police about 10 days after the killing and confessed.

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