Family left grieving in shooting death at a Federal Way church

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by TONYA MOSLEY / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on March 18, 2010 at 3:24 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 18 at 5:17 PM

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. - Howard Hales holds back tears as he talks about his youngest sister Carol.

"She was working hard to be the best possible mother to her three children. She was a great mother," said Hales.

Wednesday evening, 38-year-old Carol Hales and her estranged husband, 42-year-old Charles (Chuck) Parsons of Lakewood, were attending a counseling session at Lutheran Counseling Network at Calvary Lutheran Church on South 320th in Federal Way.

Police say sometime during that counseling session, Charles shot Carol before calling police. She died a short time later.

"Truly, honestly, in my heart I'm sure Chuck is sitting there in jail right now and he has a lot of deep regrets over what he's done to my sister, to his children," said Hales. "I know that somewhere in there this is not what is in his heart."

Carol's mother tells KING 5 her daughter had been separated from her husband for a year and a half. They'd been married 12 years and have three children - ages 11, 9 and 5.

Carol, according to her brother, had been going to counseling for 8 months, and in the last few months Charles had been attending. The victim's brother says there were no signs of abuse or indication that Charles would do something like this.

"You can always look back," said Hales. "But we never saw this coming."

The couple's children are now staying with their grandmother, who coincidentally runs a daycare center right upstairs from where the shooting happened.

The counseling center is located in a building connected to the church, which was closed today.

Parsons' bail was set at $5 million on first-degree murder charges. He is expected back in court sometime later this month.

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