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Man convicted of killing Tempe fire captain fails in bid for new trial

Hezron Parks (Scottsdale Police Department Photo)

PHOENIX – The man convicted in July of murdering an off-duty Tempe Fire Department captain in Scottsdale last year had his request for a new trial rejected Friday.

On July 10, Hezron Parks was found guilty of second-degree murder and 13 other counts related to the shooting death of 34-year-old Kyle Brayer in the early morning of Feb. 4, 2018.

The jury also found aggravating factors in the case, meaning Parks could face the higher end of sentencing guidelines.

Sentencing was originally scheduled for Aug. 30, but that was postponed after Parks filed motions to vacate the verdict and have a new trial because one juror may have been coerced into finding the defendant guilty.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge George H. Foster ruled that it wasn’t appropriate for him address the motion to vacate at this time and the motion for a new trial was not filed in a timely fashion.

Sentencing was rescheduled for Sept. 30 at 10 a.m.

The incident occurred about 2:30 a.m. in the area of Stetson Drive and Civic Center Plaza in Old Town Scottsdale. It was the weekend of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, and the streets were crowded despite the late hour.

Police at the time said Brayer had been riding on the back of a golf cart when Parks, then 21, nearly rear-ended the cart several times with his Scion coupe.

Brayer then exited the cart, approached Parks and was shot in the head. He died after being taken to a hospital.

Parks, of Belize, acknowledged firing his gun after being approached by Brayer, but he said he was provoked and did so in self-defense.

He said he didn’t know he’d hit Brayer until seeing media reports about it. He turned himself in later that day.

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