CHATOM, Ala. (WKRG) — The man accused of burying a 2006 Hummer to collect insurance money was in court Tuesday afternoon for a preliminary hearing that turned into a mini-trial and an attack on the investigation into the case.
Gene Parnell is accused of burying his 2006 Hummer H2 in 2016 on property in the Tibbie Community.
A tip led investigators to the Hummer that Parnell reported stolen six years ago.
Investigators testified that Parnell told a friend he was going to make the Hummer disappear and not to ask any questions.
During the three-hour hearing defense attorney Blane Dolbare ask the judge to dismiss all charges on a technicality, called Washington County Sheriff Richard Stringer as a witness and encouraged another witness to invoke his fifth amendment right while on the stand.
Dolbare says his client couldn’t have buried the Hummer because he was in Mobile when it was stolen.
In the end, the case was bound over to a grand jury but Judge Jerry Turner did issue a gag order in the case and dismissed two of the three charges against Parnell. Only the first-degree insurance fraud charge remains.