A Ball Ground woman has been indicted by a Cherokee County grand jury in the murder of her 76-year-old disabled husband at their home in April, a case that initially appeared to be an accidental fall.
Betty Sue Parton, 74, was indicted Tuesday on 19 charges, including one count each of malice murder, felony murder, third-degree cruelty to children and exploitation or intimidation of an elderly or disabled person; three counts of aggravated assault under the Georgia Family Violence Act; four counts of aggravated battery under the Georgia Family Violence Act; and eight counts of battery under the Georgia Family Violence Act.
The indictment documents show that on at least seven occasions over nine months, Parton slapped, beat and bludgeoned her husband, David Parton, who suffered from Parkinson's disease and was limited in mobility. The continued assaults, both with unknown objects and Betty Sue Parton’s hands, were described to have led to disfigurements and trauma. The documents also say that on April 1, blows to David Parton’s head, torso and extremities resulted in “multiple blunt force injuries and hemorrhaging,” causing his death.
One of the incidents, according to court documents, took place in front of a child under the age of 18.
The Tribune previously reported that Betty Sue Parton was not arrested for her husband’s murder until October 2018, when an investigation concluded that David Parton’s death was not as a result of a fall.
According to information from the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office:
On April 1, Cherokee deputies responded to a “person down” call at the Parton home near Ball Ground. Once there, they found David Parton dead, and Betty Sue Parton told authorities her husband had fallen and hit his head.
“(David) Parton had injuries consistent with a fall. Initially the cause of death was unknown. Parton’s body was sent to Georgia State Crime Lab for an autopsy,” the sheriff’s office said in an October news release.
In July, a medical examiner contacted detectives with the sheriff's office and described the death as suspicious.
On the autopsy report the manner of death was listed as “homicide” and the cause of death as “blunt force trauma.” In September, detectives searched the Parton home and the following month, detectives arrested Betty Sue Parton, in connection with her husband’s death.
Cherokee Sheriff’s Office spokesman Jay Baker said Wednesday that Betty Sue Parton remains in custody at the Cherokee County jail without bond.