Defendants speak out

By Beth Danziger - bio | email

Posted by Terry Alexander - email

POWHATAN, VA (WWBT) - David Franklin and Bennett Davis had their trial postponed Friday until May 22. But they say with all the recent controversy surrounding Ethan and Joey Parrish's involuntary manslaughter verdicts, they wanted to get their story out now with hopes of defusing tension.

"It's very hostile in Powhatan right now it's like a circus," said Davis.

Davis and Franklin know many in the community are upset the jury reduced the charges against cousins Joey and Ethan Parrish from first degree murder to involuntary manslaughter. But they believe from what they saw first hand, it was the right decision.

"He feels horrible about what he's done," said Franklin.

They both admit to driving the group from Virginia to Maine. But they say they weren't trying to help them escape police they were doing it to save Ethan Parrish's life.

They recall him being extremely upset about Tahliek Taliaferro's death. They say he even went so far as telling them he was thinking about tricking law enforcement into shooting and killing him.

"He said he was going to crack two rocks together like he was armed he really wanted to die for what he had done," said Davis.

So, they say when they heard over the scanner deputies were told to shoot on sight if they saw Ethan Parrish, they believed the only way to save him was to get the entire group out of town.

Days later Ethan and Joey Parrish and Stephanie Reynolds turned themselves in.

Franklin and Ethan Parrish spent a month in jail together. Franklin says his remorse continued there as well.

"Ethan cried in jail about it and he cried all about he feels horrible for what he's done." said Franklin.

"He said he made peace with god and he was ready to do his time so he's more clear minded than he's ever been," Davis said.

A third suspect accused of obstruction of justice in this case, Brad Harris was convicted Friday as well. He's been sentenced to 60 days behind bars.

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