The Edmond Sun

Local News

August 6, 2008

UCO faculty, friends hope for justice for slain former student

EDMOND — Del City Police believe a man arrested in the murder of an exotic dancer also allegedly shot and killed a former University of Central Oklahoma student last week on the same day.

Capt. Jody Suit, spokesman for the Del City Police Department, said police believe that Neko Barnett, 18, shot and killed Anthony Parks, 20, early on the morning of July 31.

Parks and his girlfriend were sitting in a car in Del City when they were robbed by two young men described as teenagers. Police said the suspects asked for Anthony’s wallet, which he produced. They told his companion to take off her clothes, and she complied.

Then, Del City Police believe, Barnett shot Parks, who died from his wounds.

Suit said investigators are “convinced” that they have enough evidence to charge Barnett with first-degree murder in the Parks murder. Suit said police will be forwarding associated paperwork to Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater.

Suit said he believed but could not confirm that Barnett lives in north Oklahoma City. Wednesday afternoon, the Oklahoma County Jail could not confirm that Barnett was in custody. Suit said police still want to question the second suspect who was with Barnett.

Oklahoma City Police pursued Barnett and Laverie Franklin, 21, in connection with the murder of Vanessa Swaissi on the afternoon of July 31, hours after Parks was shot.

Whereas Franklin is age 21, the other suspect in Parks’ murder was described as being age 17-18. Two other unidentified black males also were at the Del City crime scene, police said.

Earl Hefley, Parks’ UCO clarinet and saxophone professor, said Parks’ funeral was Tuesday, and that many students and a number of faculty attended. The funeral was at Ford Funeral Services in Midwest City.

UCO student Jessica Brown wanted justice for her longtime friend. Brown said she is reminded that three suspects who were with Barnett remain at large.

Hefley said Parks was honest and well respected and that he also wanted justice to be served.

“I hope they can make the justice system work and take care of these two guys,” Hefley said. “I have no use for scumbags like that.”

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