Parker Chamberlin, who achieved notoriety as a teenager when he crept into his mother's bedroom and stabbed her 35 times, is due back in Kern County Superior Court Friday for a resentencing hearing.

Chamberlin, now 32, was convicted of murder in the brutal 2001 slaying of Torie Lynn Knapp, a popular Highland Elementary School teacher. He was sentenced to 26 years to life in prison. 

Prosecutor Nick Lackie said prison is where the former Centennial student and athlete should stay. 

"This was an uncommonly brutal crime," Lackie said Monday. 

He said he's been in touch with Knapp's father and several of her friends. All oppose Chamberlin's release.  

Lackie said he expects the defense to ask for Chamberlin to be released on time served. If a judge decides Chamberlin should continue serving his sentence, the earliest he would be eligible for parole is September 2023. 

Assistant Public Defender Peter Kang, who recently filed a motion on Chamberlin's behalf, could not be reached for comment. 

Chamberlin, 15 at the time of the killing, at first told authorities he had encountered an intruder attacking his mother. Later, he admitted to stabbing her, and said it might have been because she owed him money, according to court documents.

He described himself as shaking with anger and blamed his mother for his rage as he walked more than three miles from a friend's house to his mother's Rosedale area home around 3 a.m. on July 3, 2001. 

Upon entering the house, he grabbed a kitchen knife and walked into his mother's bedroom. He then repeatedly stabbed the 40-year-old Knapp in her head and upper body.

Some of the wounds were inflicted through the top sheet of the bed where she slept, and some were defensive wounds to her hands, according to an autopsy report.

Knapp, her bed and two pillows were covered in blood, and her nude body was found lying on the floor next to the bed, the report said. A blood-smeared kitchen knife with a blade about 6 inches long was nearby. 

According to a probation report, Chamberlin admitted using steroids to help with junior varsity football.

Commonly used to build muscle mass, steroids can make some people feel more aggressive, energetic or depressed. But Chamberlin said he stopped using them a month before the killing, and tests showed no steroids in his system. 

Following his Aug. 19, 2002, sentencing, Knapp's parents said Chamberlin was able to play the role of a caring, loving son, but he could be manipulative and selfish in order to achieve his goals. 

In an impact statement submitted to the court, Knapp's mother, Mardee Sprayberry, wrote, "There is not a doubt in my mind that over the next 26 years Parker will perform as a model prisoner just as he performed as a model child for the first 14 years of his life, deceiving his family and friends along the road to ultimate betrayal."

"It is my greatest concern," Sprayberry wrote, "that in 26 years a parole board will be deceived in the same way and feel compelled to release him onto an unsuspecting public."

(7) comments

Mac Daddy

So... what's the reason the hearing was granted? Does all it take is an attorney asking for one after a certain amount of time has been served?

Fram Smith

You folks are so heartless. This poor young man is an orphan. Let him loose, buy him some nice cuttery, and set him up in the extra room in your house. There are so many people serving time for drug addiction offenses, why not look at non violence crime for early release, not someone who murders his mother.


This little psycho needs to stay right where he is. They should re-sentence him and give him the death penalty.


I say keep it in as long as possible,and of course for the total amount of his sentencing....the longer its locked up , the more lives it would save . Duh , dont take chances ..... With a monster who lost those the privlidge! Ill say it , he can read it here and IM NOT AFRAID OF IT!


Ahhhh yes. Perfect time to take steroids, in high school. I wonder if all football coaches have read this story?


Ms Sprayberry seems to have captured this guys abilities. He's a lot bigger now. Another 40 years may "level the playing field" for the rest of us if he's released. As I recall, he was mad, walked 3 miles and, not having cooled off sufficiently, proceeded to murder this woman. Any psychological insight as to his stability now? Perhaps his new attorney could take him home if he gets out but don't borrow any money from him. Seems to be touchy about repayment.


Not only does he look like a psycho he probably is. I remember this crime and I lived only 1 block north of where it happened. Leave him in prison.

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