Ex-husband charged with 1st-degree murder

A Lakewood man was charged Friday with first-degree murder, accused of shooting his ex-wife five times during a counseling session at a Federal Way church.

King County prosecutors allege Charles L. Parsons, 41, killed his ex-wife, Carol Parsons, 38, Wednesday after she refused during the session to leave her boyfriend, according to new details disclosed Friday in charging papers.

Charles Parsons began a counseling session Wednesday at Calvary Lutheran Church, 2415 S. 320th St., by telling the marriage counselor they were going to “get down to the nitty gritty today,” documents state.

Parsons then asked his ex-wife if she was going to continue seeing her boyfriend. When she refused to end the relationship, Parsons got up, walked across the room to his coat and pulled out a .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun, according to police documents.

He pointed the gun at the counselor and told him not to move. Parsons then aimed the gun at his ex-wife and fired multiple rounds. He hit her five times, including in the arm as she tried to defend or cover herself, according to documents.

The ex-husband then went outside and called 911 about 5:50 p.m., telling the dispatcher he had shot his wife during a counseling session “in a fit of rage,” charging papers say.

A day care is located on the floor directly above the office for Lutheran Counseling Network where the session took place. Children were in the day care at the time of the shooting.

Parsons told the emergency dispatcher that he had placed the gun on the hood of his truck. He waited outside and lay prone on the ground until police arrived and arrested him.

“The Defendant took steps to ensure his own safety while endangering everyone around him,” according to the charging documents.

Carol Parsons was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where she died.

The couple divorced about a year ago. Charles Parsons wanted to reconcile, but Carol Parsons did not, court records state.

Carol Parsons lived in the Algona area with her mother, according to her boyfriend, Kevin Foster of Graham.

Parsons and her ex-husband had been married for 12 years. They had three children, ages 5, 9 and 11, according to Foster.

Charging papers don’t say if the gun was registered to Charles Parsons or where he obtained it. However, police found three rifles during a search of Parsons’ home, as well as a gun safe that contained two more handguns.

Parsons has no known criminal history, documents say.

Steve Maynard: 253-597-8647 steve.maynard@thenewstribune.com