On Jan. 13, 2021, Parker shot Marlow in the chest with a .357 Magnum revolver at TCS Design, a furniture manufacturer. Afterward, Marlow reportedly attempted to run away, but Parker fired a shot in the back of her head.
Hickory Police officers and Catawba County Emergency Medical Services responded to the scene and located Marlow lying on the floor before she succumbed to her injuries.
Upon further investigation, police learned Parker and Marlow "did not get along, and there had been some incidents between the two women that led to the defendant screaming and cussing at the victim."
According to the District Attorney’s Office, witnesses heard Parker "make disparaging and threatening comments directed toward Marlow" before the fatal shooting.
A week before the incident, Parker was reportedly suspended from her job for three days without pay after witnesses reported she "instigated a confrontation" with Marlow, "who hardly responded to the outbursts."
The District Attorney’s Office said Parker’s husband Eric, who also worked for TCS Design, was downstairs at the time of the shooting. When he and his co-workers heard the gunshots, Eric Parker went upstairs to his wife, and they fled the scene.
According to the District Attorney’s Office, the Parkers created fake identities, stole a license plate, and remained on the run for six months before law enforcement officials caught up with and apprehended them.
The Parkers were arrested in Arizona on fugitive warrants in July 2021, and they were extradited back to Catawba County in August 2021. Officials found the suspected murder weapon in their car.
Letts addressed the court following Parker’s sentencing, saying, "Michelle did nothing wrong. It’s with a heavy heart I tell you that bad things, unspeakable things, happen to good people. I wish that were not the case. Nothing that happened was deserved by Michelle."
Chief Assistant District Attorney Tim Gould said Parker "gave this victim no chance" during the shooting, adding, "It’s not just a murder, it’s an execution."
Parker’s attorney reportedly said she "suffered from diminished capacity" and couldn’t recall what she did. Parker allegedly used Xanax for panic, anxiety, and depression, which medical professionals pointed out that it may have "contributed to an altered state of consciousness on the day of the fatal shooting."
Some of the Marlow’s family members, including her daughter Makayla, were present in court. Makayla described her mother as "the human form of goodness and peace."
Tangela Parker will serve her sentence in the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections. Her husband’s case has not yet been tried.