East Texas Woman Talks About Horrifying Ordeal

Published: Jun. 1, 2005 at 2:23 AM CDT
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by Stuart Burson

A woman is recovering from her injuries at Memorial Hospital in Lufkin.

Jennifer Holiday says she and her cousin, 18 year old Anna Franklin were out visiting friends during the early morning hours on Sunday. It was then events began to unfold that would change her life forever and leave her young cousin dead.

Jennifer says Eric Parnell fired a shot while driving by on Highway 69 north of Lufkin... the blast hitting her arm.

"There was so much glass in my face and so much blood everywhere, that I had to pull over."

Jennifer says moments after that, the accused gunman came up to her SUV, asking if she and her 18 year old cousin Anna Franklin were all right. She says Anna called 911. After that, things went from bad to worse.

"And my cousin starts screaming. She knew he had shot me, she knew there was a bullet hole in my arm. And he went back to his truck and got a shotgun, and with no... he didn't say anything, he just held the shotgun up and hit her right in the head with a shotgun."

Jennifer says the suspect then took her into the woods, raped her, and then tortured her by burning her with a cigarette and sticking a needle into her scalp. But, Jennifer kept her wits about her. She asked the suspect to take her to his house.

"I figured that was going to be the only chance to use a phone or find anybody around, by that time I had lost so much blood I couldn't hardly stay awake." says Jennifer.

Once at his house, Jennifer tells me she eventually convinced the man that he didn't shoot her or her cousin, and in fact, he pulled over to help them. She also had him believing that she loved him, and she would marry him if he let her get treatment for her injuries.

"It was the only chance I had to ever possibly get away from him. He told me he was going to kill me just like he did my cousin, but I knew that was the only chance I had to possibly get some help."

Doctors tell Jennifer they will have to take things day by day to see if she'll ever have the use of her arm back. But as for Anna's mom, she knows that nothing will ever bring back her daughter.

"Spend every second you can with them. Make it count. Because one day you're going to wake up and you're going to say they aren't here... they're not here. You don't get that time back. It's like I threw away 18 years and now I can't have it back. I can't change it, I can't fix it. I can't have my baby."

As for the suspect Eric Parnell, he now faces charges of capital murder along with several other charges. The 31-year-old Pollok man is set to be arraigned sometime Wednesday morning.