Parsons shoots Gilead citizen; faces punishment

Roger Parsons, the self-described “accidental” Gilead resident, has been convicted by the GDC Executive Committee of attempted murder after shooting Jamie Calhoun, the 10 year-old son of GDC member Chuck Calhoun, and has been sentenced to house arrest and in-community exile.

Roger Parsons testifies in front of the GDC Executive Committee. This photo was taken approximately two minutes before Parsons rejected the GDC’s authority and left the proceedings with Qß!§ËÆâêbHf±ëžEÐ/-n!Ôl5)ïX¬©F OQĨãNôÊuZn’ eðX˜ÿ 6¼ åÕ¶§4zv¡§Mõk

Jamie, who was shot through the left thigh, is expected to make a full recovery, according to Jennifer Godin, an EMT and Gilead’s sole medical practitioner, who treated the boy’s injury. “Thankfully, it was a clean wound,” she said. “The bullet went clear through the quadriceps without hitting any bone or major blood vessels, so I was able to just stitch him up and start him on a course of antibiotics.”

Despite the good prognosis, however, those who were witness to the shooting called for significant repercussions against Parsons, after the GDC trial determined the facts of the case and concluded Parsons’ guilt. “I’m obviously biased because I’m a father who has just seen somebody try to kill my son, but as far as I’m concerned, Parsons has forfeited his right to live in this community,” said Chuck Calhoun, “and if I had my way, that son of a b—- would be put to death.”

According to testimony from Parsons and the four people who were on Parsons’ property during the shooting, the facts in the case presented during the hearings appear to be as follows:

On the morning of June 4th, Chuck and Jamie Calhoun, David Childers, and Mark Costas were surveying potential logging routes for getting trees out of woods adjacent to Parsons’ property. The four people were on a wooded portion of Parsons’ property, approaching his home in order to ask him if they could use a logging trail in his woods to transport logs from another property, when they heard seven or eight shots fired in rapid succession. The group was unsure where the shots were coming from, but they heard the first few bullets hitting trees nearby and so dropped to the ground.

Roger Parsons, who had fired the shots from his front porch into the woods, left his porch and walked toward the spot where he had seen the group of four neighbors, while shouting, “I’ll kill anyone who tries to take anything from my property! You hear me? This is not your land!”

David Childers shouted back to Parsons that the group consisted of four Gilead residents, and they only wanted to ask him to use a logging trail. Parsons replied that he wanted the group off his land immediately, and threatened again to shoot them. Costas told Parsons the group would leave his property if he would point the gun toward the ground and allow them to leave the way they came, which Parsons agreed to do.

As the four people got up, Jamie Calhoun told his father that he had cut his leg on a rock or a stump when he hit the ground, and that it was too painful to walk. When Chuck looked at Jamie’s leg, he saw blood and determined that he had been shot.

Chuck picked up Jamie and informed Parsons that he would need to cross Parsons’ property to take Jamie to Godin’s home for treatment, which Parsons allowed, while cautioning the group that he would be watching them to make sure they left his property.

During the hearings, Parsons invoked his right to defend his property against trespassers. “Everyone knows the history here,” said Parsons. “I have lots of wooded land, and lots of you people want access to it, which I won’t allow, so there is obviously resentment about the fact that I have lots of property and others don’t. And then I see armed trespassers in my woods approaching my home!”

Childers, Calhoun and Costas countered that they were all wearing bright colors to ensure they were visible in the woods, since hunting season is now effectively year-round, and therefore were not sneaking or trying to “get away with anything,” in Childers’ words. “And to point out that we were armed is a non-issue,” added Costas. “Not a single Gilead resident leaves his property without being armed because we all face the threat of Raiders, and shooting game whenever the opportunity presents itself is essential.”

Parsons replied that he worked hard his whole life to be able to afford his large home and property, and will not yield to “socialistic schemes of resource-sharing,” as he termed it.

“I have plenty of food for at least a year, and probably more, and my home is well-insulated,” Parsons said. “Just because you people want to give up on civilization as we know it doesn’t mean I have to.”

Parsons insisted that state and federal government agencies would reassert their authorities soon, and that Gilead residents would be held accountable for any illegal appropriation of resources or extra-judicial punishments inflicted on him. “I reject the authority of this kangaroo court to judge me, and I absolutely reject your authority to decide my fate,” he said. “Leave me the hell alone. And unless you’re going to kill me or lock me up somewhere, I’m going home right now.”

As he left GDC Chairman Joe Tobiason’s living room – which served as the venue for the hearings – Parsons issued a parting shot, so to speak: “And one more thing,” he said. “I still consider my property my property, and pursuant to my rights as a property owner, anyone who trespasses will be shot.”

After Parsons’ unexpected departure, the GDC Executive Committee debated the punishment that should be levied, and took some input from community members who attended the hearings, which included almost every Gilead citizen. The suggestions from citizens ranged from simple house arrest to death by hanging. In the end, however, the vote was for house-arrest and in-community exile, with two primary reasons emerging as the determining factors: First, there was a significant amount of resistance from those who opposed the death penalty. Second, Calhoun, being the most aggrieved party, agreed to the lesser punishment.

“Like I said, I think the death penalty is appropriate in this case,” he said, “but I think house-arrest amounts to the same thing, because Parsons won’t have anything to do with the rest of us, and somehow thinks he can live off canned food until the National Guard shows up. Since he has no firewood, and won’t trade with any of us, there’s no way he’ll survive even half the winter, and I don’t mind if the bastard freezes to death in his own million-dollar house.”

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