Official: Franklin County prosecutors going soft on violent crim -

Official: Franklin County prosecutors going soft on violent criminals

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By Sarah Heath By Sarah Heath

( – An assistant police chief in Franklin County believes county prosecutors are going too soft on violent criminals.

Washington Assistant Police Chief Ed Menefee told News 4 Franklin County Prosecutor Bob Parks is letting violent criminals off the hook.

“When it's a crime that involves a weapon I would think that you would want to give them some jail time harsher than probation,” Menefee said.

Menefee’s concerns come shortly after Parks struck plea deals with criminals who committed violent crimes. In each case, the culprits did not have to serve time in prison.

Prosecutors recently reached a plea bargain with Michael Murphy, 39, who terrorized a woman by robbing her and holding a gun to her head. Murphy was sentenced to five months of probation.

The other plea bargain stems from a robbery that occurred in September, 2013. Jacob Sonar and Cornelius Balch robbed a Fast Trip convenience store by holding up customers with a knife. Both men received suspended sentences and probation.

“He's a very good prosecutor, always done his job, some of the recent rulings I may disagree with or like to see harsher,” Menefee said.

News 4 attempted to obtain a comment from Parks, but his office told News 4’s Julian Johnson he was away at a conference.

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