Furniture maker in Hickory faces wrongful death lawsuit

 Tangela and Eric Parker. Tangela Parker allegedly killed a fellow employee. The couple evaded capture for six months.

Photo By U.S. Marshals Service

HICKORY, N.C. — A North Carolina furniture manufacturer has been sued by the family of a woman who was shot and killed while on the job, the Associated Press reported March 10.

The Hickory Daily Record also reported that Justin Marlow, the husband of shooting victim Michele Marlow, who has also been identified as Phelifia Marlow, filed a lawsuit for wrongful death against TCS Designs, which manufactures bench-made upholstered and leather furniture for residential and contract use. 

The company's president, plant manager, and a third person who was a company manager at the time of the shooting are also named in the suit.

In January 2021, Tangela Parker allegedly shot her fellow employee on the job after a workplace dispute, according to the WoodworkingNetwork. Parker then allegedly fled the plant with the help of her husband Eric Parker, who was also an employee. Marlow, who was shot twice in the head, was taken to a local hospital and later pronounced dead.

Parker and her husband had evaded law enforcement for six months before they were captured in Arizona and brought back to Hickory. Documents in the case accuse TCS Designs and employees of being aware of Tangela Parker’s violent threats toward Marlow before the shooting and then refusing to fire Parker, the AP reported.


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Larry Adams | Editor

Larry Adams is a Chicago-based writer and editor who writes about how things get done. A former wire service and community newspaper reporter, Larry is an award-winning writer with more than three decades of experience. In addition to writing about woodworking, he has covered science, metrology, metalworking, industrial design, quality control, imaging, Swiss and micromanufacturing . He was previously a Tabbie Award winner for his coverage of nano-based coatings technology for the automotive industry. Larry volunteers for the historic preservation group, the Kalo Foundation/Ianelli Studios, and the science-based group, Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST).