Co-defendant in Powhatan murder trial says he fired rifle out of fear

By Beth Danziger - bio | email

Posted by Colby Rogers

POWHATAN, VA (WWBT) - The judge in a Powhatan murder case has called a recess until Monday morning.

Cousins Joey Parrish, 18, and Ethan Parrish, 25, are accused of killing Tahliek Taliaferro after an argument last June.

In defense testimony Friday, Ethan Parrish admitted that he fired into Taliaferro's car - but he said he did it out of fear.

Ethan Parrish said he believed the group Taliaferro was riding with had a gun too, so he shot the semi-automatic rifle he was carrying toward the ground. But he said the rifle slipped in his hands, sending bullets into the car, striking Taliferro in the head and wounding another teen.

Mistake or not, Ethan's brother Raymond Parrish says the two cousins should be found guilty on lesser charges.

"I believe they should serve some time," Raymond Parrish said. "I do believe justice needs to be served."

The tension between the Parrish and Taliaferro families has been thick inside and outside the courtroom, where it has been packed with onlookers.

On Friday, the Powhatan Sheriff's Office brought in a handful of deputies to help keep the peace.

"This case created a lot of curiosity for the county," said Powhatan Sherrif's Deputy Dan Giardini. "We don't have very many of these type cases and because county youth are involved in it, we expect to see more people."

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