On Wednesday, May 15th, several witnesses testified in Brett Parker’s double homicide trial. One of the key witnesses was Parker’s girlfriend, whom he had an extramarital affair with just before his wife, Tammy Jo Parker, and illegal gambling business associate, Bryan Capnerhurst, were found dead in the Parkers’ Irmo home.
Lindsay Mullins, 29, testified in court that she met Brett Parker while working in a bank. He was one of her customers. She had just separated from her husband, and her friendship with Parker quickly turned sexual. Mullins testified that Parker told her he was planning to leave his wife, but he had to work out financial details.
Prosecutors asked Mullins what Parker told her specifically about his financial situation. ”That it was going to be difficult to get it all down on paper,” she said.
Mullins also testified that she had had sex with Parker in a hotel room in March 2012, then again at his home just a few days before the shootings in April. She also testified that they had exchanged several flirtatious texts.
Parker’s attorney Mark Whitlark has said, during the course of the double homicide trial, that the affair is irrelevant to the case. “Their case is basically he’s a flawed human being, so he’s a murderer,” said Whitlark on Monday. “How he lives can’t be used as evidence.”
Two family friends of Tammy Parker also testified about Brett’s character. Jackie Warren, a friend and business partner of Tammy Parker’s mother, said she initially believed Brett’s side of the story, until he retold the story to Warren, Tammy’s mother, and a cousin.
“I just said, ‘Oh my God,’” Warren told the court. “I said, ‘That’s not the same story Brett told us about shooting Bryan.’ I knew something was wrong.”
Betty Anne Webb, Tammy Parker’s cousin, also testified that she initially believed Brett’s story, then changed her mind. She said that Brett demonstrated Bryan’s shooting in the attic of their upscale Irmo home, but the second time told a different story. He had told the women at first that he shot Capnerhurst while the man had a gun to Parker’s head so Parker could open the safe in the attic. Parker shot facing away from Capnerhurst, but when he later told the story, he said he shot Capnerhurst face-on.
Other Testimony in the Double Homicide Case
Richland County investigator Scott McDonald testified that phone records showed that Parker searched Orbitz for a one-way ticket the day before he turned himself in on charges related to the double homicide.
According to cell phone records, Parker searched Orbitz for a one-way ticket to Memphis, TN on July 19th, 2012, a day before he turned himself in.
Allegedly, Parker also failed two polygraph tests. However, these “lie detector” tests are not admissible in South Carolina courts as evidence, because investigation into their operations shows inconsistent and often flawed results.
Prosecutors have pointed repeatedly to Parker’s serious financial debt as one of the motivators to kill his wife and best friend. Parker owed $21,000 to Capnerhurst, owed his bookie $176,000, and had nearly $50,000 in credit card debt. He had borrowed $100,000 from his father to pay off gambling debt in Las Vegas, then borrowed another $10,000 from his parents to pay off other debts. By killing his wife, prosecutors allege, Parker would inherit $1 million in life insurance money, and could avoid paying for a divorce. Killing Capnerhurst would be a quick way out of his illegal gambling debts as well.
However, the defense alleges that Capnerhurst had serious financial difficulties of his own, which might motivate him to finally rob the Parkers to get the money he was owed. Parker’s defense asked McDonald about Bryan Capnerhurst’s marriage, because a decade ago Capnerhurst’s wife, Cindy, had been found guilty of embezzling $35,000 from her bank employer to help her husband settle his own massive gambling debts.
The Strom Law Firm Defends Against Criminal Charges
Brett Parker faces several very serious charges, both at the state and federal level. His charges for double homicide alone could land him a life sentence in jail, and the federal charges for illegal gambling could include hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines, and more jail time. Do not let serious criminal charges ruin your future. Our firm was founded by Pete Strom, the former US Attorney for the District of South Carolina. He, along with his team of attorneys, will zealously represent you in any state or federal court in South Carolina against criminal charges. We have over 30 years of experience collectively, and we offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case. Contact us today for help. 803.252.4800.