Defense admits Parker had sex with woman shortly before killings - - Columbia, South Carolina

Defense admits Parker had sex with woman shortly before killings

(Source: Jack Kuenzie) (Source: Jack Kuenzie)

Testimony began Wednesday in the case of a man accused of murdering his wife and business associate in his home in an upscale Irmo neighborhood last year.

Brett Parker is on trial for the murder of his wife, Tammy Jo, and Brian Capnerhurst in the couple's home in Ascot Estates in April of 2012.  During the investigation, Richland County Sheriff's deputies uncovered a widespread gambling ring in which Parker admitted involvement.

Armed with results of a complex investigation that ran more than three months before he was even arrested, prosecutors dropped the hammer Wednesday on Brett Parker. Accusing him of killing both his wife then gunning down his gambling cohort. 

A plan that included, said assistant solicitor Megan Walker, Brett Parker's cold-blooded reaction to his slaughter of the mother of his children.

"When he saw her face down on that cold, hard bathroom tile, in a puddle of her own blood, according to him, gurgling at that point in time, he didn't turn her over, he didn't see where the bleeding was coming from, he didn't try to stop the bleeding, he didn't administer CPR, he didn't hold his wife in one final embrace," said Walker. "According to Brett Parker, he put two fingers on her neck and when he didn't feel a pulse, he went downstairs to get a phone and call 911."

As Parker wiped tears, defense attorney Mark Whitlark ripped into the state's claims. The defense suggesting Capnerhurst was desperate for money and shot Mrs. Parker because she was involved in her husband's illicit sports gambling operation.

Parker's attorneys also began trying to undercut the work of county, state and federal investigators.

"They weren't looking at this objectively," said Whitlark. "They weren't giving him a fair shake on this thing. They had decided this. And so you've got all your coroners, your medical people, the police, they're all talking, they're going 'he did it, he's trying to get away with it, We're not going to let him.' So it all becomes slanted that way."  

Also during opening statements, prosecutors said Parker was having an affair and sent a text message to the woman on the day of the murders.

The defense admitted Wednesday that Brett Parker did have sex with a woman shortly before his wife was gunned down, but as the defense put it, 'it was just sex.'

The first witness to testify Wednesday was Deputy Joseph Ryan of the Richland County Sheriff's Department. He was the first officer who arrived at the murder scene at Parker's house.

After Ryan, the court heard from several other deputies who first arrived at the home. 

Parker's defense attorney, Dave Fedor, asked them why of the 1,123 photographs taken of the crime scene, none of them showed a gun in Brian Capnerhurst's hand.

Among the other witnesses, a victim advocate describing how the news of their mother's death was broken to their children.

The trial continues Thursday. WIS senior reporter Jack Kuenzie will be covering the trial until it is over. Follow him @JKuenzie on Twitter for all the latest from the courtroom.

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