Gulfport woman pleads guilty to her role in murder of Tena Broadus
District Attorney Joel Smith announced today that Kari Michelle Parker, age 36, of Gulfport, pled guilty to Second Degree Murder today in the Harrison County Courthouse. Judge Roger Clark accepted the plea. Parker was originally indicted by the Grand Jury for First Degree Murder but the charge was amended to Second Degree Murder at the time of her plea. The sentencing of Parker was deferred until a later date.
The death of Tena Broadus came to the attention of Gulfport Police Department in September of 2015 after receiving a missing person report from Broadus’s family. Authorities began an investigation into Tena Broadus’s whereabouts which led to the discovery of her remains in October of the same year. Broadus’s remains were found in a wooded area near O’Neal Road and appeared to have been burned. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Mitch Owen.
At the guilty plea hearing, Parker told the Court that on the day in question she was at Joshua Peterman’s residence prior to Tena Broadus’s arrival. Parker stated Peterman and Broadus got into a disagreement and a struggle ensued. During the struggle, Broadus was taken out back and placed in a building behind the residence where she was restrained. Parker observed co-defendants continuously assault Broadus. Parker eventually observed Broadus to be deceased and she was placed in a box to transport her body for disposal. Parker told the court that she traveled with her co-defendants to transport the body to O’Neal Road where the victim’s body was disposed.
Under Mississippi law, because of her guilty plea to Second Degree Murder, Parker faces 20 to 40 years’ incarceration for her role in Broadus’s death. Parker is expected to testify truthfully at the trial of her co-defendants and will remain in custody.