top of page
  • Writer's pictureScott Shellenberger

Parkville man guilty of second-degree murder in 2021 death of 91-year-old man

By Cassidy Jensen | The Baltimore Sun • November 21, 2023 | Original Source

A Baltimore County jury convicted a Parkville man of second-degree murder in the deadly beating of a 91-year-old man in 2021.

Jurors deliberated for over five hours before finding Gary Warren Parrish II, 40, guilty of second-degree murder Tuesday morning. The jury said Parrish was not guilty of first-degree murder, a more serious charge that carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Baltimore County firefighters discovered Norman Albert Sr. dead in his Perry Hall home on Aug. 19, 2021, according to charging documents. His son had called for help getting into his locked home on Hines Road after neighbors said they hadn’t seen Albert Sr. in over a day.

Inside, investigators saw bloody footprints on the linoleum kitchen floor, according to charging papers and photos shown at trial. Forensic technicians also discovered a matching shoe impression on Albert Sr.’s chest.

Baltimore County police arrested Parrish in December 2021. His mother, who was in a relationship with Albert Sr., had reported to police in May that her son used drugs and went through her prescriptions and other belongings, charging documents said.

The bulk of the testimony during the five-day trial, which began Nov. 13, focused on a pair of shoes police found in Parrish’s apartment that investigators tested for blood and DNA.

Detectives searched Parrish’s apartment after they saw him participate in a drug deal wearing a pair of gray athletic shoes appearing to match the type investigators believed left the bloody footprints, according to charging documents.

When police arrived, Parrish texted his mother begging her not to let them inside because he was “too big to hide,” charging papers said. Detectives found the shoes in a hamper in Parrish’s closet. He told investigators he did odd jobs for Albert and admitted the shoes belonged to him.

In his closing argument Monday in Baltimore County Circuit Court , Assistant State’s Attorney Daniel Trimble emphasized Albert’s age and said that he had received multiple blows to his head and body. As he showed jurors images from the autopsy, Trimble described how the impact had bruised Albert’s brain and broken his ribs and back.

“He has to know that he’s killing an old man,” he said. “Each time, he has to make the decision: Do I stop or do I hit him again? Do I kick him again?”

Trimble said Parrish had worn the shoes while beating the older man to death and that forensic testing and expert testimony showed Albert’s blood was found on the shoes.

Assistant Public Defender Coriolanus Ferrusi, Parrish’s attorney, on Monday challenged whether the testing could conclusively prove Parrish’s shoes were bloody, calling the test a “presumptive” one.

“If the experts can’t say whether it’s blood or not, how can you conclude that it’s blood?” Ferrusi asked jurors.

Jennifer Russell, a forensic biologist for Baltimore County Police, testified Monday that samples taken from the shoes matched Albert’s DNA. When Ferrusi questioned Russell about the blood on the shoes, she said that while there was no test that could prove for certain it was blood, the result was positive for “the presence of possible blood.”

Ferrusi argued that other people, including another man who also did odd jobs for Albert, could have worn the same shoes.

He said his client’s heroin addiction did not make him guilty of murder and questioned why, if Parrish had killed Albert, he had no extra cash or other material gains after the older man’s death.

Ferrusi declined to comment on the verdict Tuesday.

One juror said the group initially had doubts about Parrish’s guilt, citing DNA testing that found other “minor contributors” of biological material on the shoes.

“The evidence wasn’t great,” said the woman, who asked not to be identified for safety reasons.

She said the jury finally agreed on second-degree murder because its members didn’t believe the killing was premeditated.

“We didn’t think he went in there planning to kill him,” she said.

“I’m happy that the jury took their time to evaluate the evidence and came back with what they did,” Trimble said.

Judge Judith C. Ensor set sentencing in the case for Feb. 12. The maximum sentence for second-degree murder is 40 years in prison.


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page