Bond lowered for suspect in jewelry store killing

July 12, 2011 7:53:11 AM PDT
The man accused of shooting and killing a jewelry store owner now has a lower bond because of what he says really happened the night of the shooting. The accused killer says he had no choice but to shoot. Anthony Parks walked into court Monday morning with a bandage on his forehead, an injury that is now at the root of his defense.

"If he was acting in self-defense and this was not murder, it was justified," said defense attorney Mike Trent.

It was a new theory from his court-appointed attorney. Parks, who's charged with the murder of jewelry store owner Mehmood Ghasnavi, was just trying to defend himself, he says, after walking into Java Gold July 6 initially as a customer.

Houston police say Ghasnavi was killed in a shootout during a robbery attempt. Parks was grazed in the head. At first, it was unclear whether he was an eyewitness or suspect. His attorney claims he was actually a victim.

"He was in his car when the complainant approached and shot him in the head," said Trent. "It was only after that time he shot the complainant, allegedly."

Investigators told us Ghasnavi was discovered inside at the store counter and the surveillance recording system had been ripped out. Police eventually found it, and soon after, arrested Parks, who sources say was the one who removed the device in the first place.

"It doesn't transform a justifiable homicide into murder just because you behave erratically afterwards," said Trent.

Six months ago, Ghasnavi told us he started carrying a gun after this robbery at his store and vowed never to become a victim again.

"It was a matter of a second," he said when we spoke with him back then. "You live or you die."

The video from the killing will be pivotal. If it doesn't show the entire incident, says our legal analyst, self-defense is viable, but there would still be questions.

"One would wonder why the customer is going into the store with a gun," said ABC13 legal analyst Joel Androphy.

After the hearing, Parks left with a reduced bond, and his family left with no clearer a picture.

"We're waiting to see the results of, you know, exactly what happened," said Adrian Parks, the suspect's step-grandmother. "We just want, as the Parks family, our hearts go out to the victim's family."

Parks' bond was reduced from $100,000 to $70,000. Even with the reduction, he remains in the Harris County Jail. His criminal background in Harris County includes on a misdemeanor theft.

The victim's family declined to comment for our story.

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