He is a soft-spoken attorney who once trained for the priesthood and was thrust into the national spotlight through representing such high-profile clients as Andrea Yates and Clara Harris. Parnham has practiced law for thirty-seven years in Houston, Texas, specializing in criminal defense. Viewing law as a practical way to serve his fellow citizens, he has dedicated his life to the defense of the underdog. He has become an expert on the defense of individuals with mental illness and a passionate advocate for legal reform of their treatment in the criminal justice system. Parnham is called upon frequently by local and national news media to render an opinion on insanity plea cases and general defense issues in high profile cases, such as Lee Boyd Malvo (one of the accused D.C. snipers), Robert Durst, Kobe Bryant, and Scott Peterson.
Mr. Parnham was born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 1940, but considered Columbus, Georgia his childhood home. He attended Loyola University in New Orleans, Louisiana, and received his Doctorate of Jurisprudence from the University of Texas Law School in 1970. He is board certified in the area of criminal law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He served as a 1st Lieutenant in the United States Army. Mr. Parnham is married to Mary Moore. They are actively involved with several charitable organizations in the Houston Area including the Mental Health Association of Greater Houston, The Yates Children Memorial Fund, The Arbor Pre-School and Children’s Court Services of the Houston Area Women’s Center. The Parnhams have five children and six grandchildren.