Home invasion victims testify

Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Photo by Robbyn Brooks

A judge heard testimony Monday from law enforcement officers and the victims involved in the violent March 5 home invasion.

During the hearing, the young couple relived the ordeal that left them both with stab wounds and other injuries and resulted in the death of the intruder, Thomas White III. White was 21 and from Enterprise

District Judge William Hightower said, after listening to witnesses, that the court found probable cause for each of the six charges against Parrish Bean and Deanna McCleod, both 20 and of Troy. Parrish and Bean are both charged with one count of first-degree burglary, two counts of first-degree robbery, two counts of attempted murder and one count of murder. Under Alabama Law, the pair can be charged in White’s death.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Police say Bean and McCleod both told officers that they knew Thomas White had a gun, knew he was going to “hit a lick (commit robbery).”  They also drove White to an intersection near the crime scene and then waited nearby to retrieve him.

“We awoke to a loud banging noise and the alarm going off,” recounted the female victim. “I immediately jumped up and locked the door. [My husband] went out to turn off the alarm. When I heard him scream, that’s when I went outside.”



The female victim described coming out of the bedroom to see a “tall black male” with a gun that was “larger than a pistol, shorter than a shotgun.”

He was wearing a ski mask, gym shorts, a T-shirt and house shoes, according to testimony from different people.

“He immediately told us to start finding things of value,” she said.

While the female was on the stand, she recalled that the couple gave White $87 that was in her purse, car keys, her husband’s wallet and their wedding rings. But she said the intruder wasn’t happy with what they were turning over. White even had the couple begin pulling their clothes and shoes out of the closet and prepare a television for removal from the home.

“He had a gun and told us that as long as we did what he said he wouldn’t hurt us,” she said.

Even though the couple said they did exactly as White told them, it wasn’t long before he grew violent.

“He just hit me with a gun,” the male victim said, explaining how he ended up with staples in the back of his head. “(My wife) went to get me a towel because blood was dripping from my face.”

The male victim said his wife’s actions angered the man who also kicked him in the face.

At one point, the victim said he realized White wasn’t watching him.  “He wasn’t paying attention to me and I went up for the gun and it went off,” the man said.

Both he and his wife testified they weren’t sure if White discharged the weapon, or if it went off during the struggle. The wife was grazed by shot with most ending up in the nightstand by the bed.  After the struggle, the male victim told his wife to go get a knife. The husband and assailant struggled as White tried to follow the female to the kitchen.

“They fought over the knife. She caught the blade in her hand,” the husband said. “He said, ‘I’m going to kill you.’ ”

The couple said, during the ordeal, the knife was passed between all three of them. At some point, the woman was able to call 911. When police arrived, White was still alive and struggling.

“I was able to sit on him and pin his arms down,” the husband said. “He bit me twice on my arm.”

Both the husband and wife were treated at Troy Regional Medical Center and released for further surgeries and treatments in Birmingham. White died the following Wednesday.

Troy Police Det. Terry Miles testified the cause of death was stab wounds.

Because of their participation in facilitating the break-in, Alabama law allows Bean and McCleod to be charged both as accomplices and with White’s murder. Testimony from officers on Monday detailed the connections between Bean, McCleod and White.

Miles testified that witnesses saw Bean and McCleod with White on the night of March 4 and on March 5. Miles reported he’d been told by others that the trio was together using cocaine and marijuana. He also said police interviewed another individual who lived in Bean and McCleod’s apartment complex. That individual reported that he was approached by McCleod shortly before Bean appeared, wearing a ski mask and brandishing a sawed-off shotgun in a robbery attempt.

That happened about midnight and about 12:30 a.m. on March 5, a clerk at a Shell gas station on U.S. 231 reported two black males and a black female purchased beer with White’s credit card.

According to police, White kicked in the front door of the home on Martha George Hall Drive about 1:06 a.m. Miles said phone records show a call was made from McCleod’s phone to White’s phone at 1:38 a.m.

Sgt. Lee Barnes who interviewed both Bean and McCleod multiple times said they had dropped White off in the neighborhood. Barnes said White told the pair the area was a good drop off point “because they had big houses.”

Barnes also said Bean and McCleod told him during interviews that “they heard sirens and got concerned that something may have gone wrong,” adding that the pair said they didn’t leave the Trojan Way area immediately because they thought they still might be able to pick up White.

Between the two of them, Bean and McCleod had more than three dozen friends and family members present at the hearing.

Lawyers for Bean and McCleod asked Hightower for bond reductions and possible releases because they did not have the means to pay their bonds which were set at a total of $600,000 each – $100,000 for each charge.

Family members for both stood and acknowledged they’d house and watch the suspects, if released, and one man offered to give Bean a job, his lawyer said.

Hightower did reduce the bonds to $70,000 for each charge.

The Grand Jury is expected to meet and consider this case on July 31.