Was Irmo bookie’s wife fifth member of ring?

nophillips@thestate.comAugust 4, 2013 

View PDF of legal papers and calendar here

The federal gambling charges against Brett Parker, his father and a third man hinge on how much Parker’s wife participated in the operation.

Documents filed in anticipation of a Thursday hearing in U.S. District Court in Columbia show Tammy Jo Parker counted on her husband’s gambling income when she figured the family’s budget. However, Jack Parker’s defense attorney, Josh Kendrick, wants to suppress those budgeting notes.

“It is unlikely the attached notes are enough to call Tammy Parker a person who ‘conducted, financed, managed, supervised, directed or owned’ the gambling business,” Kendrick wrote in his motion. “She was simply adding a line on an informal budget for money that may or may not have materialized from Brett Parker’s booking business. In any event, the calendar notes are inadmissible hearsay.”

Kendrick attached to his motion Tammy Parker’s handwritten accounting notes, which provide insight into the family’s finances, their lifestyle and how much Brett Parker made in his gambling business.

U.S. District Judge Cameron McGowan Currie is expected to rule Thursday on multiple motions that have been filed. Kendrick also has filed a motion asking the judge to suppress evidence that three other people identified as targets in a federal gambling investigation hired someone to destroy evidence on their computers.

A jury trial is scheduled for Sept. 16.

Brett Parker was convicted in May on two counts of murder for killing Tammy Parker and Bryan Capnerhurst, who worked as a clerk in the sports booking business. In his murder trial, Parker admitted that he was a bookie and that Capnerhurst worked for him.

He was not charged with state gambling crimes.

However, Parker was indicted in federal court for running an illegal gambling ring. His father, Jack Parker, and Douglas E. Taylor, who allegedly worked for Jack Parker, also were indicted as participants in the ring.

To convict someone on a federal charge of running an illegal gambling business, prosecutors must prove that five people participated, the operation ran for more than 30 days and earned a gross revenue of more than $2,000 on any given day.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Winston Holliday filed a motion in late July to say he intends to bring up the murders of Tammy Parker and Capnerhurst. They made up the fourth and fifth members in the gambling ring, and he must bring up their deaths to explain to the jury why they are not in court, the motion said.

However, Kendrick said in his motion that the only evidence supporting the notion that Tammy Parker participated in the gambling ring are handwritten notes from her personal calendars. Without Tammy Parker, the government would only have identified four alleged participants in the ring, which would fail to meet that federal standard.

One Secret Service report reflects that a witness told agents he once delivered gambling proceeds to Tammy Parker. But the witness’ written statement does not say that and no other witnesses ever claimed she collected debts or had any other role in the operation, Kendrick wrote.

To support his motion, Kendrick filed eight pages of Tammy Parker’s notes from 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2011. On those pages, she had entries that indicate how much money she expected to receive from her husband’s sports betting operation.

A 2007 notation shows “81,131 football” with “-5,000 can’t collect” written underneath it. On that page, she also wrote, “Brett needs $40,000 for the year to pay bills.”

In 2010, a “booking fund” line item has $20,000 written next to it.

In 2011, it appears the booking fund also was expected to earn $20,000. And notes show Capnerhurst would be paid 30 percent of the earnings off baseball and basketball. The percentage of his take from football is not legible.

The Tammy Parker notes also indicate she was the family’s financial planner, setting annual goals and setting aside money for vacations, home improvements, her children’s college funds and even money for her teen daughter’s future wedding.

Reach Phillips at (803) 771-8307.

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