Casey Parsons gets 10 years, Sandy, 8; judge says Erica Parsons no longer exists
By Shavonne Walker
WINSTON-SALEM — Sandy Parsons will serve eight years and Casey Parsons will serve 10 years in prison for fraud and are now in the custody of U.S. marshals. A federal judge handed down the sentence and said he believes they killed Erica Parsons or did something to get rid of her.
Judge Thomas Schroeder also said they had already committed fraud in telling Amy Miller that the baby Casey was carrying for her had died, when the baby was born alive and the Parsonses tried to sell it to Robin Ashley, Casey’s sister.
The judge said he put Sandy in the same category as Casey because he believes Casey was the brains behind what happened and Sandy was a follower and participant.
The judge said Erica Parsons endured horrific abuse at hands of Sandy and Casey. The tax and mail fraud helped them cover the abuse and kept suspicions at bay because they were still receiving benefits for Erica, he said. The judge also said Sandy’s previous charges of assault on a female against Casey prove a pattern of abuse.
The Parsonses will also have to pay $48,814 in restitution and fines of at least $4,859 for court costs.
The judge pointed out that no records indicate Erica Parsons still exists.
The judge also called Casey Parsons “morally bankrupt” and said she was a “serial swindler.” He also admonished Sandy for going along with the abuse.
The Parsonses arrived at Federal Court at 7:30 a.m.; the sentencing began at 9:30 as the judge reviewed evidence from a February hearing.
Sandy Parsons was found guilty in October of 43 counts while his wife Casey Parsons pleaded guilty in September to 15 counts of a 76-count indictment.
In February, Schroeder heard from family members, including Casey and Sandy’s biological son, Jamie, as well as Casey’s sister, Robin Ashley.
The investigation into Erica’s disappearance began after Jamie Parsons told law enforcement on July 30, 2013, that Erica was missing. He told investigators he’d not seen his sister since about November 2011.
Jamie Parsons testified that Erica regularly suffered abuse at the hands of his parents and all of their biological children, including him.
Erica was punched, her fingers broken, she was neglected and at one point forced to eat dog food, court testimony revealed. A malnourished Erica was kept locked in a closet and would endure punishment if she urinated or defecated while inside it.
Janet Parsons, Sandy’s stepmother, testified during the February hearing, as did Amy Miller, a woman who hired Casey in 2000 as a surrogate. Casey lied to Miller and told the Michigan woman she had a miscarriage and then tried to sell the baby to her sister, Robin Ashley.
Robin said she went online and sought out Amy Miller. Miller eventually got law enforcement involved and was able to get her baby back immediately after his birth.
Casey and Sandy maintain they allowed Erica to go and live with a woman who claimed to be Erica’s biological grandmother, Irene “Nan” Goodman. The Parsonses have said the woman they knew as Nan lived in Asheville, and Erica was with her. The couple later said they believed Irene Goodman tricked them.
Investigators and members of the Goodman family have said all along Irene Goodman does not exist.
The Parsonses have not been charged in Erica’s disappearance.
The Parsonses received government-funded adoption assistance, Medicaid, Social Security, and Food and Nutrition Services benefits for Erica after she ceased to live with them, and used the mail to commit the fraud.
A $50,000 reward is still in place for information about the disappearance of Erica Lynn Parsons. Anyone with information is asked to contact Rowan County Sheriff’s Office 1st. Lt. Chad Moose at 704-216-8687 or Investigator Sara Benfield at 704-216-8739.
Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.
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