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Grand jury indicts man in Manatee murder case

Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 11, 1999

BRADENTON -- A grand jury Wednesday indicted Larry James Parks on three counts of first-degree murder, formally charging him with the Sept. 16 slayings of Sherry Brannon and her two young daughters.

Parks, 45, of Myakka City, a landscaper who was arrested Oct. 27, waived his first court appearance scheduled for today. Prosecutors will seek the death penalty.

Mrs. Brannon's estranged husband, Albert "Dewey" Brannon Jr., told authorities he found his wife and daughter Shelby, 7, dead in their Manatee County home on Mrs. Brannon's 35th birthday. Cassidy, 4, died later at Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg.

Dewey Brannon has been cooperating with authorities and answering their questions since his outburst last month at the Manatee County Sheriff's Office. He demanded to be arrested then or cleared.

He remains under a cloud of suspicion because sheriff's investigators have not officially cleared him as a possible suspect.

"The investigation will continue with regard to Mr. Parks and all the circumstances surrounding the case," said Assistant State Attorney Art Brown.

"The outcome of what happened today was pretty much what we expected," said Mary Nevitt, Mrs. Brannon's twin sister.

Grand jurors saw pictures, heard about DNA that prosecutors say ties Parks to the killings and heard from sheriff's Lt. William Evers and detectives Rick Gerken and Joe Perry.

-- The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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