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Melvin Lee PARRISH





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Robbery - Drugs
Number of victims: 2
Date of murders: December 5, 1987
Date of birth: June 24, 1963
Victims profile: Rhonda Allen (6-month pregnant) and her 8-year old son
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife
Location: Jefferson County, Kentucky, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on February 1, 2001

PARRISH, MELVIN LEE, DOB 6-24-63, was sentenced to death on February 1, 2001 in Jefferson County for two counts of murder, criminal attempted murder, robbery I and persistent felony offender I. 

On December 5, 1997, Parrish stabbed and killed a 6-month pregnant woman and her 8-year old son. He also stabbed her 5-year old son 9 times. The 5-year old survived the attack. Parrish was trying to take money from the woman when the offenses took place.


On December 5, 1997, this killer stabbed and killed a  woman who was six-months pregnant, and her 8 yr. old son.  He also stabbed the woman's  5 yr. old son 9 times.  The five year old survived and was able to identify the killer as the person who stabbed his mother and brother to death. 

Parrish was trying to take money from the woman when the murders occurred.  Parrish was sentenced on Feburary 1, 2001 in Jefferson County.


Case facts

Parrish was found guilty by a jury of intentionally murdering his cousin, Rhonda Allen, and her ten-year-old son, LaShawn, on December 5, 1997. He was also found guilty of attempting to murder Rhonda's five-year-old son, Jonathan. These crimes were committed in the course of a robbery.

He was sentenced to death for the murder of the child ; life without parole for the murder of the female victim ; 20 years enhanced to life for the attempted murder of the second child, and 20 years enhanced to 50 years for the robbery.

At trial, there was evidence introduced that Parrish and others had spent the daytime of the murders smoking crack cocaine. The evidence indicates that Parrish asked his cousin to return the money he had paid her earlier that day for crack cocaine.

When she refused, he stabbed her multiple times and took the money. The stabbing occurred in the living room of her apartment and Parrish then went to a back bedroom where he assaulted the children . One child survived and was able to testify that Parrish had attacked him and his brother.

In a taped statement made to police the morning after the murders, Parrish admitted stabbing Rhonda, "I asked her twice (to borrow back the money) and she said no and I guess I killed her." However, he denied doing anyharm to the children.

The prosecution introduced evidence at trial from a jailhouse informant who testified that while he was incarcerated with Parrish, the accused told him that he had committed the acts and intended to avoid conviction by faking insanity.



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