|Tammy Jo Parker (left) Brett Parker (center) and Bryan Capnerhurst (right)|
Tammy Jo Parker and Bryan Capnerhurst were both killed by Tammy’s husband Brett Parker on April 13th, 2012. Tammy and Brett lived in the small town of Irmo, South Carolina. Brett and Bryan knew each other as business partners. Both were involved in illegal sports betting in Midlands—in fact, many referred to Brett as the “kingpin” of the operation. Both men were addicted to gambling and both were reportedly suffering from debt. It is believed that Brett’s debt motivated the killings. He had a million dollar life insurance policy on Tammy that he wanted to collect, and he used Bryan as a person to place blame upon.
After the murders, Brett called the police and told them that Bryan had broken into their home and immediately shot Tammy. Then, he demanded money from Brett’s safe. Brett then said that he grabbed his own gun from above his safe and shot Bryan in self-defense. His explanation of events portrayed him as a victim in this situation, however it did not take very long for Brett’s story to fall apart.
Throughout the investigation, detectives learned of both Brett and Bryan’s involvement in the illegal sports betting. After speaking to Bryan’s widow Cindy Capnerhurst, investigators learned that Bryan was allegedly concerned about meeting with Brett on the day of his death. In fact, he reportedly told Cindy to call the police if she did not hear from him within an hour of his meeting with Brett. Cindy explained to investigators that Brett owed Bryan money, and Bryan feared that Brett would become violent when confronted about said money. Investigators also learned about the lucrative life insurance policy that Brett had on Tammy, and that Brett had been exchanging flirtatious messages with other women in the years leading up to Tammy’s death.
Three months after the incident, Brett was charged for murdering both Tammy and Bryan. At the trial, prosecutors presented their belief that Brett wanted to relieve himself of debt and to get out of his marriage, so he concocted this plan to kill his wife and his business partner who wanted to collect money that Brett owed him. The prosecution then presented evidence Brett shot and killed Tammy before Bryan even arrived at their home, and Bryan was shot shortly after showing up. It was also revealed that Brett’s claim that Bryan immediately began to shoot as he entered the home was false as well, as surveillance footage from the Parker’s home showed that Bryan entered the house a full 11 minutes before 911 was called.
Brett and his defense team maintained his original story that it was actually Bryan who killed Tammy, and that Brett killed Bryan in self-defense. The jury did not buy his story and ultimately found him guilty for both murders. Brett was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences. He attempted to appeal his case in 2016, but the conviction was upheld by a three-judge panel. Brett currently remains behind bars in a Columbia, South Carolina prison.
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