HICKORY, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — A woman who shot and killed her coworker at a Hickory furniture plant and led police on a six-month-long search has pleaded guilty in the case.
According to the Catawba County Clerk of Superior Court, Tangela Parker pleaded guilty on Thursday, Sept. 28, to felony second-degree murder.
Parker was sentenced to a minimum of 20 years to a maximum of 25 years in prison, records show. Parker was charged with killing her former co-worker, Michelle Marlow, at TCS Designs in Hickory. According to investigators, the two got into a heated argument sometime in January 2021. Parker was sent home for a few days at that time following the argument.
But when she returned to work, court records state she shot the 51-year-old mother twice in the head and then fled with help from her husband, Eric Parker, more than 2,000 miles away.
Michelle Marlow was rushed to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston Salem with life-threatening injuries before passing away at the hospital, authorities said.
Between January 2021 and July 2021, Tangela and Eric Parker worked odd jobs, panhandled on the side of the road, and changed their names while on the run, authorities said.
The couple lived in their car for 11 weeks. They even changed out the North Carolina plate for an Arizona one. After saving enough money, they were able to rent a small apartment.
It was at that apartment that the U.S. Marshals Service arrested them in July 2021, six months to the day of the murder.
Both were brought back to North Carolina in August 2021 as part of the extradition process.
Parker was booked into the Catawba County Detention Center on Aug. 5, 2021. Her husband Eric was charged with one count of accessory after the fact.