Denney Guilty Of Jacksonville Beach Murder

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - It took less than one hour for a jury to find Robert Denney guilty of first-degree murder for killing a Jacksonville Beach waitress seven years ago.

Prosecutors said Denney stabbed Corey Parker more than 100 times in her Jacksonville Beach apartment in November 1998, when he was only 17.

In closing arguments Thursday, the prosecution and defense agreed the key to his guilt or innocence was a tiny amount of physical evidence.

"When it all boils down, that was Denney's DNA in (Parker's apartment) and nobody else's, and the jury understood that," said Assistant State Attorney Angela Corey.

The prosecution admitted to the jury that mistakes were made in the investigation of Corey Parker's death during a violent struggle in her apartment, but evidence found at the crime scene proves that Robert Denney killed her.

Assistant State Attorney Melissa Nelson said "because no one caught him, no one saw him, there will always be the questions, 'Why, how?'"

The defense argued, as they had through the three-week trial, that the evidence was contaminated. Attorney Patrick McGuinness said the evidence the prosecution based its case on was found outside her window the next day and in the apartment where 20 people walked through after Parker's body was discovered.

"We were told, yes, you can get contamination from sneezing, dandruff, and everything else," he said.

Parker's mother, Liz, flew in from Rochester, N.Y., to attend the trial. She was in the courtroom when a verdict was reached.

"It doesn't change anything," Parker said. "She's still gone."

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