Arrest is made in slaying

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 24, 2005

Police have charged a Driver woman with the city’s sixth homicide of the year.

Daisy Denise Coleman, 44, is being held without bond in Western Tidewater Regional Jail for the shooting death of her half-brother, James Robert Parker, on Thursday, said Lt. Debbie George, spokeswoman for the Suffolk Police Department.

She has been charged with first-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

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Police found Parker’s body after they were called out to Coleman’s residence in the 2200 block of King’s Highway around 2:30 p.m. Thursday, George said. Parker, who lived in the 400 block of Wellons Street, died at the scene.

Coleman and Parker were involved in an argument when the shooting occurred, George said. No other details were available.

Parker’s death boosted the city’s murder rate to its highest level in recent years. The city had five homicides last year and two in 2003.

His death came just a day after Suffolk City Councilman Curtis Milteer Sr. called for the creation of a 21-member citizen task force to help prevent violent crime.

&uot;The communities need to come together to take a bite out of crime,&uot; Milteer said, adding that residents in the Saratoga neighborhood frequently hear shots fired at night.

Although other council members didn’t back Milteer’s proposal at Wednesday’s meeting, Mayor Bobby L. Ralph said he wants to discuss it further with City Manager R. Steven Herbert and Police Chief William Freeman.

&uot;It’s something we need to do more research on,&uot; Ralph said. &uot;We need to see how such a commission would function and what purpose it would serve…and whether there is consensus among council members.&uot;

Despite the rising number of murders, Freeman, in a recent presentation to the council, reported that crime is down in the city.

Suffolk had 24.1 major offenses – which include homicides, rapes, robberies, aggravated assaults, burglaries, larcenies and motor vehicle thefts – per 1,000 residents from Jan. 1 to July 31, 2005, according to police department statistics. Norfolk, Portsmouth and Newport News recorded higher rates per 1,000 people during the same time period, he said.