When Wesley Parks Jr.'s estranged wife notified him by mail in January that she wanted a divorce, he began test-firing his shotgun.
Then, he took the shotgun from his Pasadena home, drove to the convenience store where his wife worked part time and shot her, leaving her with only partial use of her arms.
Yesterday, Parks pleaded guilty in Anne Arundel Circuit Court to assault with intent to murder Michele Parks, 40.
Assistant State's Attorney Cynthia M. Ferris said there were at least three witnesses to the Jan. 30 shooting, including the couple's 19-year-old son, who had rushed the three miles from the family home to warn his mother after Parks had opened the mail and begun making threats.
And as Parks sat before Judge Raymond G. Thieme Jr. with his eyes on the table in front of him, Ferris played a videotape from the security camera at the 7-Eleven at Fort Smallwood and Hog Neck roads that showed the 8 p.m. attack.
Ferris quoted Parks as saying, "I'm going to kill you. She's not dead yet, I'm going to kill her," as he leveled the shotgun across the counter and shot his wife.
Parks, 41, of the 7800 block of Appletree Road, fired at a customer who tried to intervene, and probably would have fired again and killed his wife if their son, Wesley Parks III, hadn't wrestled the gun away from him, Ferris said.
"It's just amazing that he would walk in and shoot. It was just so deliberate," she said.
Ferris said that the couple had been married more than 20 years, but that Michele Parks had recently moved out when the relationship deteriorated.
Parks, flanked in court by two public defenders, said nothing.
The blast hit Michele Parks in the back near her right shoulder blade and went through her upper back.
She was flown to the University of Maryland Hospital, where she was treated for five days.
After her release from the Maryland Shock Trauma Center, she was admitted to other area hospitals for several weeks of treatment that included skin grafts and other operations, Ferris said.
She continues to undergo physical and psychological therapy. She is on pain medication and is only now becoming able to dress and feed herself. In addition, she needs a nurse's aide at her home eight hours a day to help care for her son and the couple's 17-year-old daughter.
Michele Parks was not in court yesterday, but Ferris said the victim is adamant that Parks should be given a lengthy prison sentence.
"Obviously, her life is changed dramatically by all of this," Ferris said.
The defendant, who worked 20 years for SCM Chemicals, could be sentenced to 30 years in prison on Oct. 29 by Judge Thieme.
Pub Date: 8/06/96