Liquor control board: Casino served man too much alcohol

He was later fatally shot by La Center homeowner during January incident

By Paul Suarez, Columbian freelance

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LA CENTER — Days after a homeowner shot and killed an intruder in the Roads End neighborhood on Saturday, more details from an intruder shooting in January were released.

Barry Parnel was fatally shot by a La Center man after he walked onto the man's property just after midnight on Jan. 24. A report by the Washington State Liquor Control Board reveals why Parnel's blood-alcohol level was 0.33, more than four times the legal driving limit at the time of the shooting.

According to the investigation, Parnel started drinking around 1 p.m. Jan. 23 at the Out of Bounds sports bar in Vancouver with a man named John Linge, aka "Johnny Pockets." The two arrived at Chips Casino in La Center around 6:30 p.m. and stayed there for several hours. Parnel was eventually cut off by the bartender, according to the report.

Parnel and Linge left Chips just after 10 p.m. and entered The Palace casino, which has the same owner and is located next door.

Surveillance footage showed Parnel displaying "obvious" signs of intoxication while entering the second casino, according to Liquor Control Board investigator Almir Karic.

At The Palace, Parnel was served a bottled beer and several rounds of mixed drinks before being cut off again around 10:40 p.m.

Parnel left the casino just after midnight and had trouble zipping up his jacket, according to the report.

Around 12:30 a.m., emergency dispatchers were told that a man, later identified as Parnel, was spotted outside a home down a private driveway at 33506 N.W. 11th Court -- about a mile west of The Palace casino.

Trespasser spotted

According to prosecutors, homeowner Mary Larsen opened the sliding door at the rear of her house at and saw Parnel about 15 feet from the door. Mary's husband, Leland Larsen, grabbed his shotgun and went outside to investigate.

Leland Larsen told detectives with the Clark County Sheriff's Office that Parnel ignored his demands to stop and get on the ground in front of his home, so he fired a warning shot. Parnel turned around and walked toward Larsen, eventually putting pressure on the barrel of the shotgun, causing it to discharge.

First responders took Parnel to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, where he later died.

Prosecutors in February said they wouldn't charge Larsen because the shooting was accidental.

After the liquor investigation, officer Karic served an administrative violation notice to The Palace casino on July 19. The casino is facing a $500 fine or a five-day suspension if it doesn't challenge the violation.

According to the investigation, Parnel showed obvious signs of intoxication before being served multiple drinks at The Palace.

In Washington, it is illegal to serve a customer if he or she shows obvious signs of intoxication, said Lt. Marc Edmonds, with the Liquor Control Board. Doing so can result in a criminal charge for the individual and an administrative violation for the establishment. There are no criminal charges in this case, he said.

This is the first such allegation on the casino's record, Lt. Edwards said. If this case is sustained by the liquor board, it will go on the casino's record.

John Bockmier, a Vancouver-based consultant who represents the casinos, said he's not sure on the specifics of the report but knows that the casinos reviewed their policies after the incident.

"Obviously, they didn't want this to occur," Bockmier said. "They take the service of alcohol very seriously. … This happened, it's very unfortunate, and they're going to be very proactive in their response to it."

Family moving on

Aug. 8 would have been Parnel's 30th birthday, his mom, Denise Snyder, said earlier this month. Family and friends were planning to get together for a vigil.

"We should have been planning a birthday party instead (of a vigil)," she said. "We just thought we'd have one anyway."

He was a very well-loved, nonconfrontational kid, she said. He was just lost without transportation in a place he hadn't been before, she said.

Snyder is working on a petition to get the prosecutor to reconsider the decision to not prosecute. She said she is in the middle of a civil suit regarding her son, but couldn't give any specifics. Her attorney didn't return calls from The Columbian.

Leland Larsen requested not to talk to the media, a family member said.

Paul Suarez: 360-735-4522; http://www.twitter.com/col_cops;paul.suarez@columbian.com.