28-year sentence for man who killed wife during counseling session

KENT, Wash. -- A man who killed his ex-wife at a Federal Way church three years ago was sentenced to more than 28 years in prison Friday -- the maximum of the standard sentencing range for his crime.

The sentence comes two months after Charles Parsons, 44, had pleaded guilty to first degree murder charges for fatally shooting Carol Parsons during a counseling session at Calvary Lutheran Church.

He then called 911 to turn himself in.

In court Friday, Carol Parson's family members successfully pleaded with the judge to give Charles Parsons the maximum sentence for the murder that left his three children without their mother.

Their grandmother, who takes care of the children now, said the children still suffer, with the youngest at 5-years-old, constantly worrying that his grandmother now won't come home.

"I thought I was suffering greatly; my grandkids are the ones suffering," Roberta Hales said. "They're the ones that need justice."

Carol's father, Richard Hales, told the judge Charles Parsons showed no mercy in the crime.

"Chuck chose to abandon his children and leave them orphans," he said. "Please provide us with the full measure of justice by posing the maximum sentence because of the heinous nature of this crime."

Carol Parsons, 38, was shot after she said she wouldn't leave her boyfriend to try to get back together with her ex-husband, investigators said. The couple divorced in 2008.

Charles Parsons got up to leave from the session, turned around and pointed a gun at his wife. As his wife began to scream, he pointed the gun at the counselor and told him not to move, detectives said.

He then opened fire, shooting his ex-wife at least six times, according to investigators. Afterward, he called 911, telling the dispatcher: "I just flew into a massive fit of rage and shot my wife during counseling."

He surrendered to police when officers arrived.

Just before hearing his sentence, Charles Parsons expressed regret for killing his ex-wife.

"I just wanted to say there's not a day that goes by that I don't look back and regret what I've done and wish that I could change what happened," Charles Parsons said. "I realize my actions have hurt the people that I love the most. I've asked Yahweh to forgive me, and he has, and I hope someday the rest of you will forgive me as well. There's not enough I could say and there's no words to express how sorry I am."

Afterward, Howard Bales, Carol's brother, said in the end, he believes justice was served.

"I think we got the time that was deserved for what has taken place," he said.

A family law court will determine if Charles Parsons can have any contact with his children.
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