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Decatur man sentenced to 55 years for assaulting, chasing naked woman to police station
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Decatur man sentenced to 55 years for assaulting, chasing naked woman to police station


DECATUR — Nathan C. Parnell, who beat and sexually assaulted a terrified woman before chasing her all the way to the front door of Decatur Police Headquarters, has been sentenced to 55 years in prison.

The punishment, to be served at 85%, effectively adds up to a life sentence for the 41-year-old Decatur man.

Parnell appeared in Macon County Circuit Court Sept. 20 and, in a deal negotiated by his attorney, David Ellison, pleaded guilty to a charge of attempted first degree murder. He also admitted two counts of aggravated sexual assault involving bodily harm and a charge of aggravated domestic battery involving strangulation.

Parnell was sentenced to 15 years on the attempted murder charge and 15 years on each of the aggravated sexual assault counts, plus 10 years for the aggravated domestic battery charge. Judge Jeffrey Geisler told Parnell, who is already a convicted sex offender, that each of the sentences would be served consecutively, adding up to a total of 55 years. Parnell will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

The plea deal saw additional charges of unlawful restraint, two counts of domestic battery, assault with a deadly weapon, damage to government property and aggravated fleeing police dismissed.

Sworn affidavits tied to the case, which was prosecuted by Assistant Macon County State’s Attorney Kate Kurtz, described the 50-year-old woman, whom Parnell has known for years, being subjected to a night of terror in her home May 18. The affidavits said Parnell slapped her across the face, sexually assaulted her and menaced her with a pair of garden shears.

The affidavit said the ordeal went on all night before the woman, naked except for an open front sweater, managed to flee the next morning in her vehicle. She was pursued by Parnell who chased her first to the Law Enforcement Center and Macon County Sheriff’s Office at 333 S. Franklin St., where she tried to attract attention.

Then, still pursued by Parnell, she fled to the Decatur Police Headquarters at 707 W. South Side Drive. “(She) flagged down Sgt. Timothy Maxwell yelling ‘He’s going to kill me,'” said the affidavit. “Sgt. Maxwell observed her to be crying, shaking and naked, making him believe she was in distress.”

Maxwell set off in pursuit of Parnell, who drove off but was soon caught and arrested.

Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid


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