Alleged assailant charged with manslaughter after victim dies

By: By William R. Toler - Editor

ROCKINGHAM — A New Year’s Eve barroom altercation turned fatal this weekend, resulting in a manslaughter charge for the alleged assailant.

According to the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, 45-year-old Walter Williams, of Laurel Hill, assaulted 59-year-old Ervin Fletcher Parks at Buddy Roe’s bar, north of Rockingham, during a gathering to ring in the new year.

Parks was initially taken to FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital-Richmond, but later moved to Carolinas Medical Center-Main in Charlotte, Chief Deputy Mark Gulledge told the Daily Journal on Monday.

Parks died Saturday and Williams was arrested Sunday on a charge of involuntary manslaughter. According to jail records, his bond was set at $50,000.

Online court records on Monday showed no set court date or other pending charges.

This isn’t Williams’ first brush with the law for assault, according to records with the N.C. Department of Public Safety Division of Adult Correction.

His last conviction was in March of 2010 on a misdemeanor charge of assault on a female, which occurred the previous year, records show. Williams was given probation for that offense.

He was also convicted on a misdemeanor charge of assault inflicting serious injury in September of 1992, according to state records, receiving probation in that case, as well.

Williams’ first conviction was in 1989 for misdemeanor larceny in Scotland County. He was also convicted on two counts of felony larceny and a misdemeanor breaking and entering charge that was bumped up to felony in 1996.

In 2004, Williams was convicted on a single misdemeanor count of communicating threats, also in Scotland County.

All defendants facing criminal charges are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Reach William R. Toler at 910-817-2675 or [email protected]


By William R. Toler