Parks found guilty in Palacios' murder

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GREENVILLE — A Pitt County jury has found Gregory Kent Parks guilty in the death and disappearance of 20-year-old Isabel “Chaveli” Palacios.

He was found guilty of first-degree murder under the felony murder rule by way of the commission of attempted second-degree rape and second-degree kidnapping. The jury also found Parks guilty of first-degree kidnapping and obtaining property by false pretenses.

The trial is entering the habitual felon stage where jurors will have to decide his fate.

The verdict was announced before 10:30 this morning.

Palacios was last seen at Parks’ Wilson home on July 31, 2015. No one has seen nor heard from her since. Police have never recovered her body.

Parks, 59, testified that Palacios walked away from his house around 2:30 p.m. that day after they spent hours smoking crack cocaine. Parks said she told him she was going to find more drugs. He said she had lost her keys and told him she was getting a ride with another man.

Parks testified she walked out the door and toward the street, and he went back to his bedroom to sleep after pulling an all-nighter.

But prosecutors said Parks killed Palacios inside his bedroom. When Wilson police executed a search warrants at Parks’ home on Aug. 4, 2015, they found substantial evidence, they say, including Palacios’ blood and DNA throughout his home.

Prosecutors said Palacios was brutally beaten in Parks’ bedroom. Officials said after the drugs that Parks had been feeding Palacios for hours ran out, he expected payment in return — sex. But Palacios didn’t give in and instead fought back, which made Parks angry.

A complete story will follow.