A Quad City man who spent 13 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit, has finally received the apology he deserved.
Darrel Parker, a former Moline parks supervisor, was wrongly convicted of his wife Nancy’s murder in Lincoln, Nebraska back in 1956.
On Friday, the Nebraska Attorney General ended Mr. Parker’s decades long nightmare, by overturning his murder conviction and officially clearing his name.
”I’m hopeful this apology, this aknowledgement of innocence will bring some measure of closure for you,” said Attorney General Jon Bruning.
Those were the words Parker, 80, had long fought to hear.
”The eagle has landed. Only in the U.S of A could we have made an ending like this. Now my dear Nancy can rest in peace”, said Parker of the decision.
Parker was co-erced into a false confession, spent thriteen years in prison, was paroled in 1970, and pardoned in 1991.
But he wanted a full exoneration and filed a wrongful conviction lawsuit to try and make that happen.
The state refused, and was preparing to take the case to trial. Until last week, when the Attorney General had one sleepless night.
”I called my chief of staff at 7:30 on a Saturday morning and said are you thinking about this cause I’m thinking about this, and it’s bothering me. What are we doing?” Bruning recalled.
Parker will also receive $500,000 from the state.
”It’s just been a roller coaster”, said Parker, in an interview with WQAD-TV this week. ”Words just can’t describe it,” he said.
He credits his faith and Ellie, his wife of 40 years for getting him through the nightmare and fight to clear his name.
”There is hope. One should never give up hope for whatever they are fighting for”, he said.
In the late 1970’s, an ex-con named Wesley Peery confessed to killing Nancy Parker and several other women over the years. He died in 1988.