Brett Parker returns to courtroom after hospitalization - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Doctor: Capnerhurt's injury would have prevented him from keeping grip on gun

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Brett Parker is loaded onto an ambulance Wednesday. Brett Parker is loaded onto an ambulance Wednesday.
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

The double-murder trial of Brett Parker resumed Friday morning after being cut short Thursday when the admitted bookie had to be transported to an area hospital after an emotional outburst in the courtroom.

Parker was back at the defense table Friday showing no signs of the emotional distress that brought his trial to an abrupt halt late Thursday morning.

After a half-day delay, Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Bradley Marcus continued answering questions about the conditions of Tammy Jo Parker and Bryan Capnerhurst.

On Thursday, some of the medical examiner's remarks were difficult for family members to hear. And that was apparently true for the defendant as well.

Brett Parker put his head down in his hands and dabbed repeatedly at his eyes with a tissue. Then, after the jury was sent out of the courtroom, Parker began sobbing loudly.

He was later taken to an area hospital apparently for treatment of symptoms of an anxiety or panic attack. One of his attorneys described his condition as a rapid heartbeat.

Judge DeAndrea Benjamin gave the court an early lunch break and eventually canceled proceedings for the rest of the day.

When court resumed on Friday, Dr. Marcus focused mostly on the damage done to Bryan Capnerhurst.

In particular, on indications that the last of four gunshots fired at him was a shotgun blast to the head, as he lay on the floor in the attic area of the Parker home.

Marcus says that was the fatal wound, but he also says Capnerhurst had been hit in the left arm just before that, making it impossible for him to maintain a grip on the gun sheriff's investigators found in his left hand when they entered the home.

Marcus also testified that Capnerhurst had a gunshot wound to the bottom of his foot.

But Parker's defense refuted Marcus' claims.

"He's not basing it on any science," argued attorney Mark Whitlark. "He's not qualified to give this statement."

The judge overruled Whitlark's challenge and the Jury was allowed to hear Marcus' testimony.

Scheduled to testify in the case next week is Lanny Gunter, who was sentenced to five months in prison in January by a federal judge for his involvement in a gambling operation. Gunter's case was uncovered by deputies investigating Parker's murder case.

Jack Kuenzie continues to follow this case and will be in the courtroom until a verdict is reached. Follow him on Twitter: @JKuenzie.

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