A North Carolina Woman Murdered a Furniture Factory Coworker. She Blamed the Murder on Xanax Causing an 'Altered State of Consciousness.'

North Carolina Woman Fatally Shot Coworker, Tried Blaming It on Xanax
Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office

Tangela and Eric Parker hid from authorities for six months before being caught in Arizona.

Oct. 2 2023, Published 1:03 p.m. ET

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A North Carolina woman was sentenced to over 20 years in state prison after murdering her coworker and then going on the run for over half a year, according to authorities.

On Jan. 13, 2021, investigators said 52-year-old Tangela Parker shot and killed Phelifa Marlow, her coworker at the TCS Designs furniture factory in Hickory.

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The deadly incident occurred during the workday, and coworkers told officials that Parker was known to scream and swear at her victim in the past. According to authorities, Parker had been suspended from her job in the past due to the inappropriate workplace behavior.

Parker shot Marlow twice, and the victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

Immediately after the shooting, Parker and her husband, Eric Parker, who was also employed at TCS Designs, fled the state.

The Parkers evaded police by using fictitious names and a stolen license plate on their vehicle. The duo his for six months but were arrested in July 2021 in Arizona.

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The couple was extradited back to Catawba County, where they have been held in jail with no bond, authorities said.

Tangela initially pleaded not guilty and argued through her lawyers that her use of Xanax had caused an “altered state of consciousness” during the shooting, officials said.


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On Sept. 28, however, Tangela pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 20 to 25 years in prison.

Eric Parker was charged with accessory after the fact. His case is ongoing and he's next scheduled to appear in court in early December.


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