'He never seemed like anybody that would hurt you'

'He never seemed like anybody that would hurt you' »Play Video
Charles Parsons
FEDERAL WAY, Wash. - The man accused of shooting his ex-wife to death last week after a church counseling session always seemed like a "teddy bear" who wouldn't harm a fly, says the dead woman's brother.

Now the whole family is heartbroken and struggling to come to grips with Carol Parsons' tragic death, says her brother, Howard Hales.

"I am devastated. My family is devastated," he says. "I can tell you I have cried more tears the last three days than I have in my previous 44 years of life. I mean - it's just unbelievable."

Federal Way police say Carol's ex-husband, Charles Parsons, gunned her down during a counseling session inside Calvary Lutheran Church in Federal Way.

The couple divorced around a year and a half ago, and investigators say Charles wanted to get back together.

But during the counseling session, Carol said she would not stop seeing her new boyfriend. That's when Charles allegedly pulled out the gun and fired several shots, hitting Carol five times.

After the shooting Charles went outside, placed the gun on the hood of his truck, called 911, and lay down on the ground. Police say he confessed after his arrest.

Carol died later at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, and Charles is now charged with first-degree murder. Bail has been set at $5 million.

A makeshift memorial now has taken shape outside the church where the shooting took place.

Howard Hales says he never saw it coming.

"For the years that I knew him, he seemed like a big teddy bear," he says. "He never seemed like anybody that was going to hurt you or try to hurt you."

Hales says he doesn't want Charles to receive the death penalty. He says the Parsons' three children - ages 11, 9, and 5 - have suffered enough.

"The children. You know - they've lost so much with their mom right now and having their dad where he is today, is going to be enough for them," he says. "One of them asked us if that was a possibility, and we told them that is not we wanted for their dad."

Carol Parson's funeral is next Saturday at 11 a.m. at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Covington.