WILMINGTON — On Friday in Clinton County Common Pleas Court, members of the jury began deliberation in the case of Phillip Haley for the alleged murder of Zachary Parrott.
Haley, of Sabina, is accused of fatally shooting 23-year-old Parrott, of Washington Court House, in December 2021. Haley faces six charges, including two counts of aggravated murder, two counts of murder, one count of trespassing, and one count of felonious assault.
According to court documents, Haley’s estranged wife, Kari, had invited Parrott, a co-worker of hers and a mutual friend, to her house to play board games.
Kari was showing Parrott around her house when Phillip Haley reportedly entered the State Route 729 residence in Sabina. The affidavit notes that the suspect hasn’t lived at the house since November, and he was living in his truck.
The suspect “came running up the stairs and began yelling at Zachary Parrott,” the affidavit states. Phillip Haley reportedly told Parrott to leave the house, which he agreed to do.
As Parrott was getting ready to leave, a fight broke out with Phillip Haley reportedly assaulting both Parrott and Kari Haley.
Parrott and Phillip Haley began to fight, which led to the upstairs bathroom. Gunshots were heard and Parrott was found on the bathroom floor bleeding from two bullet wounds. Parrott was declared dead by the Sabina Fire Department.
During closing arguments Friday, Clinton County Assistant Prosecutor Katie Wilkin highlighted how Parrott was not being hostile during the incident and was leaving the residence when things became violent.
Defense attorney Scott Evans said his client shot Parrott in self-defense. Evans highlighted to the jurors the injuries Phillip Haley sustained in an altercation between him and Parrott. Evans stated that Haley acted in self-defense because Parrott allegedly attempted to grab Haley’s gun, which was holstered.
Evans also argued that Haley didn’t trespass because the incident occurred at a property he still technically owns.
Clinton County Prosecutor Andrew McCoy, in his rebuttal, told jurors that there was no reason to shoot Parrot. McCoy indicated that Phillip Haley started it by acting hostile.
“The defendant did not act in self-defense that night under the laws of the State of Ohio … because he was the aggressor,” said McCoy. “He provoked the violence, he threatened them, he struck Kari and Zach, he placed them in fear. He used unreasonable force.”
The jury was still in deliberation Friday evening.