The murder trial of Patrick Parnel on charges he killed his newborn baby in Ocean Shores in 2013 has been rescheduled for Sept. 30 and may be pushed back yet again.
Grays Harbor Interim Chief Deputy Prosecutor Katie Svoboda said the case had been set for trial on Tuesday before being rescheduled, and that witness availability issues might force another delay with the rescheduled date.
Parnel, now 23, is being held in Grays Harbor County Jail in Montesano with bail set at $1 million. He was originally arrested and booked April 6, 2013, after the body of the infant girl was found in a residential lot in Ocean Shores.
Police found Parnel’s girlfriend, Brittany Taylor, had given birth to the girl in an Ocean Shores motel room and then Parnel is accused of abandoning it on the vacant property, where it was found dead by a passerby.
Taylor, of Humptulips, pleaded guilty to first-degree abandonment of a dependent person and has been sentenced to four years, 10 months in prison. Parnel, however, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in his child’s death.
After he left the hotel room with the baby, prosecutors allege he hit the girl in the head with a tire iron before leaving her in the bushes, where a jogger found her the next morning. An autopsy of the girl found her cause of death was blunt force injury.
Parnel’s trial was initially set for Nov. 13 last year.