GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A man accused of a 2009 homicide admitted to 24 Hour News 8 during a jailhouse interview that he killed William Parnell — but he said it wasn’t murder.
“I am guilty of killing this man, but I’m not guilty of murdering him. It’s not what it seems to be,” Teivariol Davonte-Darnell Moore said in a Sunday interview from the Kent County Correctional Facility.
In September 2009, the 56-year-old Parnell was found beaten and bound in a Grand Rapids house where he had been living with Moore’s uncle. Moore, 26, was arrested last week by the Kent County Metro Cold Case team and charged with the murder.
Sunday, Moore was calm and collected during his 25-minute interview with 24 Hour News 8 via Internet video link.
“I deserve charges,” he said. “I do deserve charges, but I don’t believe I deserve second-degree murder. I think it’s more manslaughter.”
He said he went to his uncle’s house on Diamond Avenue NE to “burn time” on that September day and then got in a fight with Parnell that led to his death.
“I got the remote to turn the TV and he woke up upset,” Moore said.
“We were on the ground tussling. I put him in the (inaudible) choke to get him to stop ’cause he was still kind of wild,” he continued. “And he was still breathing so I kind a did a dumb move and taped his hands together so I can try to get away a little bit, try to run, to give him time to not call the police so soon.”
Family members say Parnell was gagged, but Moore disputes that.
“I left the house and later found out that he passed away,” he said.
He said he learned Parnell had died from a news report.
“I’m thinking the whole time that he might wake up and not remember. I didn’t think that the injuries would’ve killed him,” Moore said.
Moore said Parnell had been drinking and that may have played a role in why he was so upset.
“He had alcohol in his system and he might have had a illegal drug in his system at the time,” he said.
Moore said violence is not in his character.
“I don’t have not one violent history or violent altercation but that. I’m pretty much level-headed and walk away from a lot of things,” he said.
In the time since Parnell’s death, Moore became a father — his daughter is now 2 years old. He said he also began volunteering and working with children in the Saginaw area, where he lives.
The Kent County Metro Cold Case team — which was formed in 2006 and has solved 17 murder since then — cracked the five-year-old case.
“I thanked them for letting me get it off my chest and being understandable,” Moore said. “They treated me with the upmost respect.”
He also said he apologized to Parnell’s family.
“I’ll apologize. It wasn’t my intentions at all to hurt the man or to kill him,” Moore said.
If convicted of murder, Moore faces up to life in prison.