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Marion man sentenced to 50 months in federal prison for receiving a firearm while under felony information


HELENA-WEST HELENA—Demarcus Parker will spend the next 50 months in federal prison for receiving a firearm while under felony information. Jonathan D. Ross, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, announced the sentence, which was handed down today by United States District Judge D. P. Marshall, Jr.
Judge Marshall sentenced Parker to 50 months imprisonment, which is more than twice the sentencing guideline range of 15 to 21 months. Parker was also sentenced to three years of supervised release to follow his prison sentence. There is no parole in the federal system.
On April 5, 2023, Parker, 31, of Marion, was indicted by a federal grand jury on one count of knowingly possessing a stolen firearm and one count of receiving a firearm while under a felony information. On July 25, 2023, Parker pleaded guilty to receipt of a firearm while under felony information.
On May 14, 2018, in the Circuit Court of Crittenden County, Parker was charged by felony information with several felonies, including capital murder, unlawful discharge of a firearm from a vehicle, criminal attempt capital murder, and forgery. On December 11, 2019, Parker was released on bond for those felony offenses. Parker was accused of murdering an off-duty Forrest City police officer, who was hit with a stray bullet in a gang-related shootout. Parker was then convicted of murder following a jury trial. That conviction was ultimately overturned on procedural grounds in March 2023.
On Friday, January 17, 2020, at approximately 6:24 p.m., West Memphis Police Department officers observed a white 2007 Cadillac Escalade, driven by Parker, commit a traffic violation. After stopping the vehicle, officers located a loaded firearm under the center console of the Escalade. Parker admitted he was in possession of the firearm and knew that felony charges were pending against him at the time Parker received this firearm. An investigation revealed that the firearm was stolen out of Denton, Texas, in 2017.
“Today, the man who an Arkansas jury found guilty for the April 28, 2018, murder of Forrest City Police Officer Oliver Johnson, but whose conviction for that murder was later dismissed on procedural grounds, has now been held accountable and punished for the subsequent offense of receiving a firearm while knowingly facing a pending charge of murder. Mr. Parker has an extremely violent criminal past, and his behavior reflects no respect for the law. Importantly, due to the work by prosecutors in our office and the ATF Memphis Field Office, Mr. Parker has been in continuous custody since before the mandate was issued to release Mr. Parker on May 4, 2023, by the Arkansas Supreme Court,” said Ross.
“Although today’s conviction was for a completely separate offense that happened 19 months after Officer Johnson’s murder, as soon as our office learned on March 16, 2023, that the Arkansas Supreme Court had announced its decision to dismiss the murder conviction, in order to protect the public from Mr. Parker for as long as possible, we resolved to bring any appropriate federal charges before the Arkansas Supreme Court’s final mandate would take effect,” U.S. Attorney Ross said.
“We did this by securing an indictment from a federal grand jury on April 5, 2023, against Mr. Parker for his receipt of a firearm while under a felony information. This case highlights the importance of working with our state and local partners to focus on prosecuting the most dangerous and violent offenders when no other options are available to the State of Arkansas. In an act of blatant disregard for human life, this defendant brutally murdered a Forrest City police officer in front of the officer’s family. Today’s sentence solidifies an intolerance to this senseless act of murder and the protection of the community from villains such as this defendant.
“Today’s sentencing means Demarcus Parker will not pose a risk to anyone else in the community,” said ATF Nashville Special Agent in Charge Marcus Watson. “Protecting the lives of our law enforcement partners, like Officer Oliver Johnson, and the safety of our communities is one of the cornerstones of what our agency seeks to accomplish every day. This sentence highlights ATF’s commitment to protecting the public through vigorous enforcement of the federal firearms laws by identifying, arresting, and presenting for prosecution the perpetrators responsible for violent crimes committed in our communities.”
The investigation was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, with the assistance of the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for the Second Judicial District. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Julie Peters.