Brett Parker (Image: Richland County Sheriff's Dept.)
Tammy Parker (Image: thejumpstartband.com)
Irmo, SC (WLTX) - Richland County deputies have arrested 42-year-old Brett Parker, charging him with killing his wife and his friend in Irmo last April.
Sheriff Leon Lott announced the arrest at a late Friday afternoon news conference. Parker turned himself in around 3 p.m.
Back on April 13, 44-year-old Tammy Parker and 46-year-old Bryan Capnerhurst were shot multiple times inside a home on Tackeria Court in the Ascot Subdivision. The house was owned by the Parkers.
Lott says Brett Parker and Capnerhurst were in the gambling business, with Capnerhurst working for Parker. Lott the two men and Tammy Parker were all friends.
According to an incident report, Brett Parker was standing in the driveway of the home when deputies arrived and found the bodies inside. Investigators say the man was inside when both killings took place.
Parker told deputies Capnerhurst shot his wife, and that he shot Capnerhurst in self-defense.
However, Lott says that story doesn't match the evidence. Instead, Lott says Brett Parker owed Capnerhurst $20,000. Deputies now believe Parker invited Capnerhurst over to the home.
"It was a scheduled visit," Lott said. "Parker had told Capnerhurst when to come, how to come, and this was a normal visit."
According to Lott, Brett Parker shot his wife first, then shot Capnerhurst. Investigators say the suspect used two different guns, and that he owned them both.
Lott did not speculate on a motive for why he believes Parker killed his wife. He did, however, point to a direct connection between the crime and gambling.
"Some people say that gambling is a victimless crime," Lott said, "but I think if you ask the children of Tammy Parker her parents, her friends, Bryan Capnerhurst's family, they'll tell you they're all victims."
Deputies brought in the Secret Service to investigate the gambling operation, and Lott says that probe is ongoing.
Lott says the complication of matching the two investigations--and having to sent some of the evidence to other agencies to be analyzed--explains why it took 14 weeks to make an arrest.
"We've had to rely on the evidence being examined that we were not able to do the forensic examinations on," Lott said. "We've had to use outside experts and pathologists...to help us out and that had a lot to do with the time of this investigation."
Lott also addressed the fact that so many rumors in the case, and shot down at least one of them: there was no 'love-triangle,' as Lott put it.
Dave Fedor, Brett Parker's attorney, issued the following statement, saying "my client was charged with two counts of homicide. He is innocent and in court it will come out that he acted in self-defense."
A bond hearing is expected to take place next week.