Follow the WDRB Newsroom, Reporters and Anchors.More >>
Tweets from the WDRB Newsroom, Reporters and Anchors.More >>
JEFFERSONVILLE, INDIANA (WDRB Fox 41) -- She pulled the trigger in a road rage shooting that played out on a Jeffersonville street nearly two years ago. Fox 41's Bill Alexander sat down with Yalanda Parrish behind the prison walls, to hear her side of what happened that day.
The sound of a prison door slamming shut is easily recognized. It's the sound that quickly lets you know, where you are, why you are there, and how long your stay will be.
Parke County Indiana, is known for its attractions -- it's the Covered Bridge Capital of the World, for example. But this place isn't on the tourist list. Most of the 1200 women at the Rockville Correctional Facility would like to leave as soon as possible, including inmate 204056 -- Yalanda Sue Parrish.
"I really thought I did what I had to do as a mother," Parrish says. "And it was my duty as a parent to protect my child from any harm, and I did what I had to do, not that I wanted to. I was in fear for my life, as well."
It is a long way from Jeffersonville, Indiana -- about 300 miles -- but the distance and time won't let Parrish forget the afternoon of June 17th, 2008. Her 911 call tells part of the story: "Yes, I shot somebody here up here on Tenth Street, I'm up here in front of the Thornton's, okay you did? Yes, he ran up on my car."
Moments before that call, Parrish pulled out a handgun and shot 52-year-old Wesley Mosier in the chest. He got off his motorcycle to approach Parrish's SUV. The witness testimony varies, with some saying that for several blocks, Mosier was cutting Parrish off with his motorcycle. Others say Parrish was driving too close. At Tenth and Allison lane, it all ended. In July 2009, she was convicted of aggravated battery and sentenced to ten years.
Parrish says her entire story wasn't told in depth. "It all began because he was flirting with me," she says. "And as he flirted with me I ignored him, I had my windows down...ignored his intentions and he got angry. The more I ignored him, the more angry he got."
She further explains, "How was he flirting? Ramming his motorcycle, looking over at me, when I would scoot up some in the car he would scoot up in his motorcycle, you know, look over, flirting. I'm a grown woman, I know when a man is flirting."
Parrish appealed her conviction on the grounds that her request for a mistrial was denied. The judge said prosecutors could not mention allegations Parrish's son kicked Mosier after the shooting. Mosier mentioned that during his testimony.
Back in May, the Court of Appeals denied the Parrish appeal. She says it was something she expected. Her earliest release date is 2013.
So, she copes by reading and taking classes. "I like it, I enjoy it," she says, "I enjoy my teachers, they're very helpful, very kind, and very concerned."
During the trial and leading up to it, race became an issue as a religious coalition wanted to make sure, Parrish received a fair trial. When asked whether she thinks if she had been a white woman and Mosier an African-American on a motorcycle if she thinks it would have changed the tone of the prosecution, she replies, "Yes, most definitely, most definitely, yes."
She continues, "It's hard to explain, it really is. I don't like the racial thing, I don't like to play the race card. I'm not racist whatsoever, I have people in my family that are of another race, as well."
Parrish says her focus is to get out, be back with her family, and she wants to leave the state of Indiana, so January 2013, can't come too soon.
Wesley Mosier tells us Parrish's allegations of flirting are "a total lie and a joke." And on the issue of race, Clark County Prosecutor Steve Stewart says he would like to think the Parrish case was treated the same as any other case.