CBS 19 first reported the death of 32-year-old Teddy Parker when the authorities released the information Wednesday May 17.
Tonight, his family spoke exclusively with CBS 19 about their son who was arrested, then
became unresponsive in the smith county jail.
Authorities say Parker was combative during the booking process. The Texas Rangers continue their investigation into his death.
As Parker’s family prepares funeral arrangements, they said the nature of his death sparked a trial by public opinion on social media.
His mother, Christine Parker said he had an alcohol problem but that he had a heart of gold.
“I’m going to miss him so bad,” she said through her tears. “I’m devastated.”
She suffers from paraplegia and is confined to a wheel chair with ongoing health issues. It was Teddy who waited on her hand and foot, she said.
"He's changed any wound I've had, he's washed my clothes, took me to the doctor, he was always there for me," she said smiling through her tears.
Her son became unresponsive on Mother's Day. She said it was just the morning before she was asleep in her room when he snuck in to surprise her and wish her and early happy Mother's Day.
“He grabbed my boot and started shaking and he said, ‘Mom?,’"she said laughing. "I looked up and I was like, ‘Teddy!’ Gave me a big ole’ hug and a big ole’ kiss. ‘Had to come see ya’ tomorrows Mother's day!’ We made big plans for Mother's Day but little did he know that he wouldn't be here for Mother's Day. At 7 o’ clock, way before he left the jail even, he was no longer there."
He was transported to a hospital and placed on a ventilator, but she said doctors pronounced him brain dead. He died Tuesday, shortly after the ventilator was removed.
Sobbing, Christine says she cannot help but blame herself.
"He just flew too high and I couldn't catch him,” she said, tears falling. “I couldn't catch my baby like he's caught me many times. And it hurts."
Teddy Parker's funeral services will be Monday, May 22 at Tyler Memorial Funeral Home. Viewing will be 12:00-2:00, with the service starting at 2:00.
Parker’s father released this statement:
“I'm not going to deny that Ted wasn't belligerent while under the influence of drugs and alcohol but would like for people to know that, in his youth and sobriety he had a compassionate side, good humor and great athletic ability as well as a passion for the sport of golf.
His concern and love for family was undeniable.
I would hope that in Ted's example, youth could see that it is way too easy to squander your opportunities for success and a productive life by choosing the instant gratification of alcohol or drugs. I have no doubt that had Ted refrained from drugs and alcohol and rather put his nose to the proverbial grindstone the sky was the limit.
Regardless of his faults Ted was loved and will be missed.”
CBS 19's original story based on the SCSO press release can be found by clicking here.