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Decatur man who chased naked woman to police station pleads guilty to attempted murder

Decatur man who chased naked woman to police station pleads guilty to attempted murder


DECATUR — Nathan C. Parnell, who pursued a terrified naked woman onto the front drive of Decatur Police Headquarters, is now awaiting sentence on charges of attempted murder, sexual assault and battery.

Parnell appeared in Macon County Circuit Court Friday pleading guilty to the attempted murder charge and additional charges of two counts of aggravated sexual assault involving bodily harm.

He also admitted a charge of aggravated domestic battery involving strangulation in a plea deal negotiated by his attorney, David Ellison. Additional charges of unlawful restraint, two counts of domestic battery, assault with a deadly weapon, damage to government property and aggravated fleeing were dismissed.

Parnell, who turned 41 on Wednesday, will be sentenced at a hearing scheduled for Sept. 13. Already a convicted sex offender, he faces up to 30 years in prison. He is being held in the Macon County Jail in lieu of posting bail set at $2 million.

Sworn affidavits from Decatur Police described how the 50-year-old victim, whom Parnell has known for years, had been held captive overnight in her home May 18 after Parnell accused her of cheating on him. Writing in the affidavits, Officer Alex Amaya said she was repeatedly physically assaulted, slapped about the face, thrown into a closet and menaced with garden shears while Parnell yelled “fight back or I’ll kill you.” Another affidavit described her being repeatedly sexually assaulted as Parnell told her “he was going to teach her what it felt like to be raped” and the only way she would get to leave the house is “naked or dead.”

Amaya said the woman eventually managed to escape outside the next morning and fled in her sport utility vehicle, pursued by Parnell in a pickup truck. She first drove to the Law Enforcement Center and Macon County Sheriff’s Office at 333 S. Franklin St., heading into the restricted parking area and honking her horn, trying to attract attention.

“While driving around the parking aisles, Nathan attempted to stop (the woman) by ramming his vehicle into the driver’s side of her vehicle,” said Amaya. “Simultaneously, the driver’s side of Nathan’s vehicle struck a structural parking pillar.”

The woman then drove outside, pursued by Parnell who smashed his way through a parking gate, and by 10:22 a.m. she had arrived at Decatur Police Headquarters, 707 W. South Side Drive. “(She) flagged down Sgt. (Timothy) Maxwell yelling ‘He’s going to kill me,’” said Amaya. “Sgt. Maxwell observed her to be crying, shaking and naked, making him believe she was in distress.”

Parnell then fled, pursued by Sgt. Maxwell, and was later arrested at his home.

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


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