Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- The double-murder trial of Brett Parker entered into its second day Thursday, highlighted by one man being barred from the courtroom for the duration of the proceedings and graphic photo depictions of the deceased.
Parker is accused of shooting to death his wife, Tammy, and his friend Bryant Capnerhurst in April of 2012 at the Parkers' home in Irmo.
Prosecutors say he killed the two in an act of premeditation. His defense claims Capnerhurst killed Tammy Parker, and Brett Parker killed Capnerhurst out of fear for his own life.
Thursday, prosecutors show photos from the crime scene during testimony by Sgt. Stan Richards, in charge of the Richland county Sheriff Department's Crime Scene Division. After an hour long delay due to a dispute between Assistant Solicitor Catherine Luck Campbell and defense co-counsel Mark Whitlark over how much of the images could be shown.
The photos in dispute included those taken of Tammy Parker and Capnerhurst after they were shot. Tammy was shot five times, including once in the head.
Photos of guns found in the home, said not to be used in the murders, were also disputed. Three guns, in total, were found in the home.
"It's good strategy," Whitlark said, suggesting that allowing the prosecution to show jurors photos of more than one gun found in the home would prejudice their decision-making regarding the trial.
"Guns, guns, guns," Whitlark remarked.
Fifth Circuit Judge DeAndrea Benjamin ruled only certain photos of each of the deceased would be allowed to be entered into the record.
Richards told the court the process of logging and photographing the scene. Campbell showed the pictures to jurors as she questioned Richards on the stand.
"I went on through photographing and documenting, and I made my way through the attic area," Richards said recalling moving through the Parker residence and finding Capnerhurst. "At that time, I observed a male dressed in a black fleece jacket and black shorts, white tennis shoes, lying partially on his back and partially on his right side with what appeared to be blood on his face and torso area."
Campbell showed the jury pictures of both bodies laying on the floor. Tammy's body was discovered near an upstairs office; Capnerhurst's body was discovered in the attic.
Earlier in the day, court was held up as one of the six alternate jurors was unable to make it to court. It paused again after two jurors told the judge that Brett Parker's father, Jack Parker, spoke to them, and continued after they told him they were not allowed to speak to him.
The jurors claim Jack Parker asked them if the jurors were subject to sequester.
The father, though, says that's not the case at all.
"It's a case of mistaken identity," Jack Parker said outside the courtroom. He pointed out that jurors, without pointing him out by looking, only told the judge the man sitting directly behind Brett was the one who spoke to them.
Jack says he was sitting next to the man the jurors were referring to. Judge Benjamin barred Jack Parker from the courtroom for the duration of the trial, saying he was only allowed to return when called as a witness.
Prosecutors asked he be held in contempt of court. Benjamin said she will revisit the issue after the trial has reached its conclusion.
Court will resume Monday morning.