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Plea, crime spree nets Whitmire man 25 years

Tracy Parsons

(Staff Reports)

A Whitmire man is headed to prison for the next 25 years after he pleaded guilty Monday afternoon to charges stemming from a three-month crime spree that included two home invasions and three other residential burglaries, 8th Circuit Solicitor David M. Stumbo announced Tuesday.

Tracy Glen Parsons, 55, of Whitmire, pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of first-degree burglary, three counts of armed robbery, three counts of kidnapping, three counts of second-degree burglary (nonviolent), one count of failure to stop for blue lights and one count of unlawful carrying of a weapon.  Parsons’ Newberry County cases were first up on the trial docket for next week’s term of circuit court, including one involving a home invasion in the Silverstreet area that ended with a couple being tied up and held at gunpoint in their home.

Circuit Judge Donald B. Hocker accepted the plea Monday afternoon at the Laurens County Courthouse and sentenced Parsons to a total of 25 years in prison.  The lead crimes are classified as violent, making Parsons ineligible for parole. Parsons has at least three previous convictions for theft-related crimes.

Parsons’ reign of terror began in early September 2020 and spanned Newberry and Laurens counites before law enforcement was able to put an end to the crime spree on November 19, 2020. Parsons committed five separate burglaries during that span.  In one instance, Parsons assaulted a Newberry County couple in their home, tied them up and stole their vehicle. Another incident involved Parsons robbing an elderly woman in Laurens County at knifepoint, cutting her arm in the process, then tying her up and stealing her vehicle. The other residential burglaries and thefts occurred while the homeowners were not at home. Parsons was finally arrested after he attempted to run from police during a traffic stop in Laurens County.

Senior Assistant Solicitor Taylor Daniel and Assistant Solicitor Margaret Boykin handled the case for the state, with assistance from 8th Circuit Investigators Walter Bentley and Jared Hunnicutt and 8th Circuit Victim Advocates Rhetta Smith and Lauren Powers. Parsons was represented by Callie West of the Laurens Public Defender’s Office.

Solicitor Stumbo praised the work of his staff along with the work of the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office and the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office, particularly NCSO Maj. Robert Dennis, LCSO Capt. Robert Wilkie, and LCSO Lt. Ben Blackmon, in securing the conviction and lengthy prison sentence.

I cannot say enough about the hard work and cooperation between Sheriff Reynolds and Sheriff Foster, and their investigators, in making sure this violent criminal is effectively in prison for the rest of his life,” Solicitor Stumbo said. “My office will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our law enforcement officers to make sure we are getting violent career criminals like Tracy Parsons off the streets and out of our communities.”

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