Limestone County Judge sets trial date for Madison Police Officer charged with assault


Eric Parker, Madison police officer recommended for termination after the incident involving
Sureshbhai Patel on Feb. 6 (Photo: Limestone County Sheriff’s Office)

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LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – A trial date has been set in the Limestone County District Court for Madison Police Officer Eric Parker.

Parker’s attorney, Robert Tuten, along with assistant attorney general William Lisenby, Jr., who is representing the state, met with newly appointed District Judge Doug Patterson Wednesday morning. Parker was not present.

The bench trial is scheduled to begin on June 8. The following day, June 9, has also been reserved for the case, which is unusual for this charge.

“This is not the typical case,” said Tuten. “Generally a misdemeanor docket, you would expect to try several cases in a day, but obviously this one is a lot more complicated than the average case legally and factually.”

Parker faces misdemeanor assault charges for the February 2015 take down of Sureshbhai Patel in a Madison neighborhood. The incident left Patel partially paralyzed.

The case was delayed during Parker’s two federal trials, which each lasted more than a week. Both resulted in hung juries. A federal judge then acquitted Parker of excessive force charges. Tuten said he expects similar results against the state.

“The facts of the case are the same and we expect the same outcome here as we had in federal court,” he said.

The assault case was briefly in limbo, too, when District Judge Jeanne Anderson retired earlier this month. Judge Patterson was sworn in on April 3, as this ordeal nears its end.

“He’s been through torture,” said Tuten of Parker. “Everybody involved in this has. It was difficult to go through a federal trial in any case, but to have to do it twice, in very close proximity to each other like that within just a few months, it was very difficult for everybody.”

The state charge is a Class A misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of one year in jail and up to $6,000 in fines. The case could also affect Parker’s future as a law enforcement officer. He continues to remain on paid administrative leave with the Madison Police Department.

A civil lawsuit was also filed against Parker on Patel’s behalf. It has been delayed until the criminal prosecution is complete.

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