Jury finds Hezron Parks guilty of murdering Tempe Fire captain
PHOENIX (FOX 10) -- The verdict is in for a man charged with killing a Tempe firefighter in Scottsdale. The two got in an argument on the street after a night of partying.
According to official reports at the time, the incident happened at around 2:30 a.m. on a Saturday. Brayer, who was off-duty at the time, was riding on the back of a golf cart with other people. Parks was driving in a red Scion and began driving closely, even bumping the rear end of the golf cart. Brayer got out of the cart and went up to the driver's side window and was shot in the head.
During the trial, the state prosecutor claims Parks was driving his car, tailgating the golf cart, revving his engine several times as they were stuck in traffic. Brayer got off the cart and walked toward Parks, who had a gun and fired a single shot. Meanwhile, the defense claims Brayer was antagonizing Parks, kicking the hood of the car. When he started walking toward him, Parks' attorney said he got scared and shot Brayer in self-defense.
The defense also pointed out that Parks has dual citizenship, but he didn't leave the country after the shooting. Instead, he turned himself into police.
"He could have left," said Parks' older sister, Michelle Parks. "He turned himself in, so I felt like the verdict was unfair towards him. He never had any priors. That's just how I feel as his sister."
In addition to a guilty second-degree murder verdict, the jury also found Parks guilty of disorderly conduct, endangerment, assault, and leaving the scene of an incident.
"Either way, we can't get lost in the fact we lost a great man, and he's not coming back," said Don Jongewaard, President of the Tempe Firefighters Union. "There are two families here devastated for the rest of their lives."
People who knew him best remember Brayer as a kind man who won't soon be forgotten.
"He touched a lot of lives, not just in the fire service but his connection with veterans, all the things he did for people that wanted careers in the fire service, all the people he touched it's just too many to count," said Jongewaard.