A three-judge panel of the S.C. Court of Appeals has unanimously upheld the 2013 double murder conviction of Irmo sports bookie Brett Parker.
Lawyers for Parker are now seeking a rehearing before that panel, which consisted of Chief Judge John Few and judges Aphrodite Konduros and James Lockemy. Seeking such a rehearing is a preliminary step toward seeking a review by the S.C. Supreme Court.
Parker, now 45 and in state prison serving life sentences with no chance of parole, was convicted in May, 2013, after a three-week trial in Richland County for the murders of his wife, Tammy Jo Carson Parker, and his betting bookie clerk, Bryan Capnerhurst.
The case was one of most widely publicized criminal trials in recent years and attracted national attention.
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State Judge DeAndrea Benjamin presided over the trial, which gave the public insight into the illegal world of Midlands sports betting, where Parker had been a gambling kingpin and had illicit affairs.
According to prosecutors, Parker, a man addicted to gambling himself and who was plagued with debt, wanted his wife dead so he could collect a lucrative life insurance payout on her. To carry out his murder scheme, Parker persuaded his friend and gambling clerk Capnerhurst to drop by his Irmo area house on April 13, 2012, at lunchtime.
Before Capnerhurst arrived, Parker shot his wife to death. When Capnerhurst got to the house, Parker shot him and then told Richland County deputies that Capnerhurst had killed his wife, then Parker shot Capnerhurst, according to the prosecution and evidence in the case.
The jury didn’t believe Parker, who took the stand and testified that he shot Capnerhurst in self-defense as the clerk was trying to steal Parker’s gambling proceeds. It took just three hours to reach a verdict.
The prosecution, led by senior assistant 5th Circuit solicitor Luck Campbell, was aided by various witnesses who testified that Parker had changed his version of events several times before trial.
During his trial, Parker was represented by Columbia lawyers David Fedor and Marc Whitlark. In the current appeal, Parker is represented by Columbia lawyers John Delgado, John Nichols and Ernest Dessausure. The Attorney General’s office is handling the appeal for the state.