Editor’s Note: Some of the details in this story may be disturbing to some readers.
COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — A Tuscumbia man charged with murder and abuse of a corpse is now asking the court for a mental evaluation ahead of a jury trial, court records filed on Monday show.
Marlan Phillips is accused of stabbing his “significant other” Jennifer Parrish in a gruesome scene just three months ago in a house the two shared.
Phillips, through his attorney, is requesting 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.
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. Senkbeil then detailed the vicious extent of the injuries to Parrish’s body, which News 19 has decided not to describe here due to their graphic nature.
A small, blue-handled knife with blood on it was found close to Parrish’s head, Senkbeil described. As he continued, Senkbeil says there was a bloody cellphone charging cord lying close to Parrish’s head.
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.
Senkbeil went into the bedroom and found more areas of pooled blood, he said. Along with that, he described seeing more areas of blood spatter on the wall and blood that had been smeared. A pink backpack with items belonging to Parrish was also found.
According to Senkbeil, an altercation had started in the bedroom and continued in the living room, with “multiple signs of struggle in both areas.”
Because of the previous history of domestic violence between Phillips and Parrish, he had deemed a person of interest in the investigation, according to the affidavit.
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.
Phillips remains in custody without bond.