Death penalty trial date tentatively set for Erica Parsons' adoptive mother

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A judge set the trial date for Casey Parsons, the adoptive mother accused of killing her adopted daughter, Erica Parsons, for April 2020.

Casey Parsons, along with her husband, Sandy, appeared in court Thursday morning. The pair are charged with the murder of their adoptive daughter, 13-year-old Erica Parsons. Both are facing the death penalty. 

Prosecutors asked the judge not to join Casey and Sandy Parsons for a joint trial. A trial date has not yet been set for Erica’s adoptive father, Sandy.

Erica's remains were found in a shallow grave in Chesterfield County in 2016, nearly five years after she was last seen alive. Several family members reported that Erica was subjected to longstanding physical and emotional abuse by her adoptive parents. 

Related: Autopsy exposes unsettling details of Erica Parsons' life and death

Related: Investigators believe Erica Parsons was deceased before reported missing

Last fall, a Rowan County judge delayed setting a trial date for the couple.

Casey and Sandy Parsons are currently in the Rowan County jail awaiting their first degree murder trials.

Years ago, they were convicted of fraud and were both serving out separate federal prison sentences for taking federal adoption assistance money meant for Erica long after the teen was gone from their home.

When they were arrested last year for the murder of Erica Parsons, they were brought to the Rowan County jail.