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Snapped

From left are Judy Parker, Daniel Lee Hicks and Christina Hicks.

The 2003 murder of Merrillville businessman John Parker Jr., planned by his wife, Judy Parker, and aided by his two stepchildren, will be the focus of a television show airing Sunday.

"Snapped," an American true crime television series, will air at 8 p.m. in an episode titled "Judy Parker." It's on the Oxygen Network.

Judy Parker was 40 years old when she was sentenced in 2009 to 33 years for her role in the slaying of her husband.

She plotted and was assisted in the murder by her two children, Daniel Lee Hicks and Christina Hicks, according to court documents.

Daniel Hicks was 15 at the time of the murder and Christina Hicks, 17.

Both were convicted and received jail sentences.

Christina Hicks-Grabski, who had married during the crime investigation, died in 2013 at the age of 27.

Daniel Hicks completed service in the Community Transition Court on Jan. 24, 2017.

"Snapped," which made its debut Aug. 6, 2004, profiles dozens of women accused of committing murder or attempted murder, typically their spouse.

The program, which is produced by Jupiter Entertainment, is aired like a documentary through interviews with family, friends, police, lawyers and journalists who had a tie to each case.

Judy Parker, who lived with John Parker and their four children in Crown Point, unsuccessfully attempted several times to kill her husband.

She first laced his food with an illicit drug. He reportedly thought it was food poisoning.

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She also hired hit men, but either they got cold feet or simply took the money and ran, according to court testimony.

She finally recruited two of her own children to kill their stepfather.

She succeeded on April 17, 2003, when her son, Daniel Lee Hicks, shot the 33-year-old Merrillville businessman in the back of the head in an ambush outside J&J Parker Industries, 8892 Louisiana St., in Merrillville, a corporate sales and service operator for Kirby Vacuum Corp., where he trained sales people.

John and Judy Parker met selling Kirby vacuum cleaners. They married and worked six-day weeks to build up their sales, service and training enterprise. The victim's mother, Marlene Parker, said during court testimony that even though John adored his wife, their marriage was rocky.

Marlene Parker said if they had divorced, Judy would have gotten only half of the lucrative business. But with her husband gone, she would get their entire estate, including a $1 million insurance policy on his life.

Merrillville police Officer Robert Wiley, Sgt. Jeff Rice and former Merrillville Detective Donald Toth testified during court hearings that friends of the victim's stepchildren, who attended Crown Point High School, told stories the defendants made at least three unsuccessful attempts to hire someone to kill John Parker.

Wiley said one of the hit men said he even told Parker of the plot on his life but he didn't take it seriously.

Authorities contend Judy Parker wanted out of her marriage so badly she discussed various schemes to kill her husband with her two teenage children, one of whom she gave money to hire a killer. When that failed, Parker gave the teens money to buy a pistol and followed up by buying dark clothes and a mask, which Hicks wore while shooting his stepfather in the back of the head.

At the time of the shooting, Parker told police her husband was outside the car and she was in the passenger seat and unable to get a good look at the gunman.

Police early on discounted robbery because after John Parker was shot he still was wearing a Rolex watch and expensive gold and diamond jewelry.

At the time the conspiracy began, the family, which included two younger daughters, lived together in the Ellendale Farms subdivision in Crown Point.

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