Editor’s Note: Some of the details in this story may be disturbing to some readers.
TUSCUMBIA, Ala. (WHNT) — Marlan Odell Phillips, charged with killing Jennifer Parrish in August 2022 at a Tuscumbia home, has written a letter to the judge with a few requests, one of which is to apologize to the victim’s family.
In the letter, filed on May 10, 2023, Phillips writes to Judge Kyle Brown for “another chance to come home,” and “be placed in a mental health group home where they can look after my meds and wellbeing.”
In November 2022, Phillips entered a similar request through his attorney, asking for an examination by a court-appointed psychiatrist or psychologist to determine his mental state at the time of the alleged murder, along with his competency to stand trial.
Phillips was arrested and charged with Parrish’s murder after a family member called police to say they thought the 33-year-old was dead inside a home she and Phillips shared.
Now, in his handwritten letter to the judge, Phillips said, “I was on drugs when this happened and I don’t remember.”
According to online court records, officers with the Tuscumbia Police Department responded to a home on Monroe Drive where the two lived after a family member of Parrish called them saying they thought she was dead.
When police arrived, Phillips was not at the house. Parrish’s relative told officers that she had already been inside to check on her, but found her lying face down on the living room floor with stab wounds. The relative said they tried to shake Parrish to wake her up but eventually left the house since they didn’t know if Phillips was still inside.
Police went into the house and found Parrish where the family member had said, with a “large amount of blood around her body,” court documents state. She was not showing any signs of life.
Officers cleared the house to make sure Phillips wasn’t there, at which time paramedics were allowed inside to evaluate Parrish. They pronounced her dead on the scene.
Court documents say Sergeant Senkbeil with the Tuscumbia Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division arrived and began processing the scene with Detective Handley and Detective Glaze.
In the court documents, Senkbeil says he started looking over Parrish’s body. He reported that he found “multiple stab wounds to the back, hands, chest and face” of the 33-year-old woman.
There were several different areas on the walls of the living room that had “large quantities of blood,” Senkbeil explained. He also found bloody shoe prints on the floor, according to the court document.
According to Senkbeil, an altercation had started in the bedroom and continued in the living room, with “multiple signs of struggle in both areas.”
The affidavit said that because of the previous history of domestic violence between Phillips and Parrish, he had been deemed a person of interest in the investigation.
Following his arrest, the 32-year-old was charged with murder and abuse of a corpse, with court documents saying Phillips “did knowingly treat a human corpse in a way that would outrage ordinary family sensibilities.”
Court documents also show that Phillips has filed a “notice of intent” to pursue a plea of not guilty.
A pretrial hearing has been set for May 25, with a jury trial scheduled to start on June 6.