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THE widow of a man who was killed while he was out on bail for robbery charges says he was trying to turn his life around.
Keon Parker, 33, was shot dead on Tuesday morning while sitting in a black Mazda 3 in Eastern Quarry, Laventille.
Nearby residents called the police after they hear gunshots and saw the car with several bullet holes and Parker inside it.
Police found Parker in the driver’s seat bleeding from gunshot wounds to the chest and face. He was taken to the Port of Spain General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 10.20 am.
Parker was jailed in August 2023 after being charged with robbery.
But Jenel John, who was his common-law wife, said he was trying to turn his life around.
John said he had been released from prison less than two months ago and told her he was trying to “get out of that life.”
“He had his ways. He used to get himself in trouble.
“But he was also a family man. He always used to take care of his family members, and he was always there for us. He got himself caught up in illegal activities, but he tried, he really tried to come out.”
She said while she understood he was involved in illegal activities, he never brought that side of his life home to his family.
“Who he was with me and what he did with other people out there is really something different. When he was home with his family, he is cooking and cleaning and washing.
“That is the side of him I knew. I never saw the side of the outside life that he lived.”
John said Parker’s lifestyle had previously caused tension in their relationship, as they had arguments when she tried to persuade him to cut his criminal connections and turn over a new leaf.
She said the three and half months Parker spent in prison, away from his family and his two daughters, helped him realise he needed to change his lifestyle.
She said since his release he had begun taking private jobs, power-washing and cleaning yards, and he even had a job interview this week with a cleaning company.
“He told me and his family members that he wants to come out of that life, because he wants to live to see his children grow up and he wants to be there for his children. When he came out of jail he spent most of his time with us.”
John said part of the reason Parker fell into a life of crime was because of the negative influences in his community. She said growing up in Eastern Quarry, he fell in with the wrong company and was never able to fully give up his criminal lifestyle.
She advised criminals, and youths who are being lured into a criminal lifestyle, to turn to God if they really want to escape that life.
“Pray, because only God can help you. But you have to think from the start and try not to get involved in this lifestyle at all. It’s really hard to know who your friend is, because they carry you and don’t bring you back. So it’s only God alone that could help you. Only God. Nobody else.”
John said Parker’s story will serve as a cautionary tale for their daughters, and although they are young now, she will tell them about him when she believes the time is right.
She also addressed negative comments being made about Parker online, saying, “We live in a world where everybody is a judge. They’re always judging and always have something to say, although we know it’s wrong. But we all have to live our life accordingly.”