Parsons children testify before federal grand jury

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The three oldest children of Casey and Sandy Parsons, the adoptive parents of missing teen Erica Parsons, spent Tuesday testifying before a federal grand jury.
Erica, 15, hasn’t been in Rowan County since November 2011. She was reported missing July 30 by her adoptive brother, James “Jamie” Parsons, who was among the siblings who testified before the grand jury, according to a source with knowledge of the case.
Casey and Sandy Parsons have been under scrutiny by law enforcement since Erica was reported missing. The Parsonses say they let her go to Asheville to live with a woman they knew as her biological grandmother, Irene “Nan” Goodman.
Investigators and other relatives have said Goodman does not exist. The couple have since said they now believe Goodman was not who she claimed to be.
The source said the children, including oldest son Sandy Jr. and daughter Brook, testified before the federal grand jury in Greensboro. The hearing was reportedly an opportunity for the Parsons children to “answer some questions,” the source said.
It wasn’t clear what information the children were there to provide. Casey and Sandy Parsons were not there to testify.
“It was a means to make the kids cooperate,” the source said.
Jamie was subpoenaed on Oct. 28 and returned Tuesday to federal court, the source said. Brook and Sandy Jr. were also supposed to go before the grand jury this week. Details discussed during the hearing are kept confidential.
A spokesman with the U.S. Attorney’s Office said he could not speak about specific cases, but referred a Post reporter to a federal grand jurors handbook that details the process by which witnesses appear in federal court before a grand jury.
A witness can be subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury or can be asked to appear at the behest of the United States Attorney, an assistant United States Attorney or by the court that impaneled the jury.
Also, matters may be brought to the grand jury through the personal knowledge of a member of the grand jury or from matters brought to a member’s personal attention, according to the federal grand jurors handbook.
A grand jury can indict a person — formally charging them with a crime. A federal grand jury can take action only on federal crimes. The Parsonses have not been charged with a crime.
The case is still in the hands of Rowan County Sheriff’s Office investigators, who continue to be assisted by the FBI and State Bureau of Investigation.
The couple’s youngest two children, Sadie and Toby, have been placed in the care of Casey’s parents, Shirley and James Stone. Sandy and Casey have had weekly supervised visits with the children, who were removed from the home in July.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.