Prosecutors to seek death penalty for Erica Parsons' adoptive father

ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. — The Rowan County prosecutor said Wednesday he plans to seek the death penalty for Erica Parsons' adoptive father Sandy.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Erica Parsons Case]

Sandy Wade Parsons (image courtesy Rowan County Sheriff's Office)

Erica was reported missing in 2013 and her remains were found in 2016.

Sandy Parsons and his wife Casey are accused of physically abusing Erica, killing her, and then trying to cover it up for years.

[Erica Parsons Missing -- Timeline]

Casey Parsons entered a guilty plea in 2019 to the murder of her adoptive daughter Erica Parsons.

The Parsons have been in federal prison since 2014. They've been serving time on fraud charges for accepting benefits after Erica’s disappearance.

[READ MORE: New warrants detail life of 'child torture' suffered by Erica Parsons]

They were brought back to Rowan County earlier this year to face state charges in the case.

[Medical examiner says Erica Parsons died from 'homicidal violence']

Erica Parsons, 13, was last seen November 2011, but she wasn’t reported missing until July 2013 by her adopted brother. (WSOCTV.com)

Casey and Sandy Parsons are charged with the following felonies:

  • First-degree murder
  • Felony child abuse with serious physical injury
  • Felony obstruction of justice
  • Felony concealment of death

Prosecutors have not said yet if they plan to seek the death penalty for Casey Parsons.

[PHOTOS: Erica Parsons]

Investigators said the child was likely dead long before she was reported missing and her remains were found on a property off Moore Road, near Pageland, South Carolina.

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Family and unidentified law enforcement sources told Channel 9 that Sandy Parsons led investigators to the remains.

"I hope they do. That's what they deserve," Erica’s aunt, Teresa Goodman, said.

Attorney Carlyle Sherrill used to represent the Parsons and said he's not surprised that prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

He believes that with the death penalty on the table, there is no way the case can be tried in Rowan County. He also believes the autopsy report gives the defense an opening.

"I think the autopsy lends itself to creating some of that doubt because it doesn't say specifically how she died," Sherrill said.

The capital defender’s office appointed Parsons an attorney and Sherill thinks it will be a long time before the case goes to trial because the defense will need to do their own investigation.

"It's going to be very hard,” Goodman said. “If that's what it takes to get some justice, I'm all for it."

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