Brett Parker testifies in double murder trial, said he loved vic - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

"It was him or me." Brett Parker testifies in double murder trial

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Brett Parker testifies Friday Brett Parker testifies Friday
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Brett Parker took the stand in his own defense in his double murder trial Friday and answered questions for nearly three hours.

Parker is on trial for the murders of his wife, Tammy Jo, and business associate Bryan Capnerhurst, who were shot to death in Parker's Ascot Estates home in April of 2012.  Parker's defense attorneys claim Capnerhurst shot Tammy Jo and Parker shot Capnerhurst in self-defense.

The first witness to testify Friday was a forensic lab director for a company in Texas, who said it is reasonable to conclude that Capnerhurst could have fired the 9mm handgun used to kill Parker's wife, Tammy Jo.  Richard Ernest admitted he's getting paid $300 an hour for his services to Parker's defense.

During a break at the court, Parker was given time to decide if he would take the stand.

Upon testifying, Parker admitted he was a bookie. He also said he had never been arrested or gotten into a fight.

Parker admitted he had an affair, but he and Tammy Jo stayed together because of their kids.

"Me and Tammy got along fine," he said. "We loved each other. I would never lay a hand on her."

The couple's 17th anniversary would have been Saturday.

"I'll love her until the day I die," he said.

But when asked about his relationship with a woman who testified Thursday that she was in love with Parker, he said, "Right now, I love her.  We talk about everything."

Parker also said before the shootings, he had no disagreements with Capnerhurst.

He said on the day of the shootings, he heard gunshots in an upstairs office at his home.  When he ran up the steps, Parker said he saw Capnerhurst pointing a  gun.

"I was panicked," he said as his voice broke. "I immediately turned and just kept pulling the trigger.  I was scared the whole time."

Parker claimed he gave the gun to Capnerhurst before the shooting for protection. His attorneys claim it was the same gun Capnerhust used to shoot Tammy Jo and turned on Parker before he was shot and killed.

"I made a decision.  It was him or me," he said. When asked if he placed the gun in Capnerhurst's hand after he was shot, as prosecutors claim, Parker responded, "That's ridiculous."

During cross examination, Parker accused investigators of intimidating his 14-year-old daughter. Brooke Parker testified Thursday.

"That's sick," he said.

When prosecutors asked Parker if he respected police, he replied, "They've done a pretty bad investigation."

Despite testimony from Parker Friday, closing arguments are not expected until next week.

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