Bond denied for accused Ascot Estates shooter

Accused Ascot Estates gunman Brett Parker makes his first appearance in court Thursday.

COLUMBIA (WACH) - A judge denied bond for accused double murderer Brett Parker Thursday morning.

Parker turned himself in to Richland County deputies last Friday. He is charged with two counts of murder in the April 13 shooting at his home in the upscale Ascot Estates neighborhood that left 44-year-old Tammy Parker, 44, and Bryan Capnerhurst, 46, dead.

During Thursday's hearing, the Fifth Circuit Solicitor's office argued that Parker had hatched a plan to kill his wife in order to cash in on 401k assets, a nearly $1 million insurance policy and then pin the crime on Capnerhurst, a family friend who had been invited to the Parker home that day.

Investigators say Parker was deep in debt and involved in multiple extra-marital affairs.

"The investigation in this case basically showed that this was a premeditated, elaborate plan," said Luck Thompson of the Fifth Circuit Solicitor's office. "A cold-blooded killing of Tammy Parker and subsequently to that, Bryan Capnerhurst, to cover it up."

Parker called 9-1-1 the day of the shootings and deputies say he was waiting for them in his driveway when they arrived. He has claimed self-defense in the case since day one saying Capnerhurst, who authorities say was involved in a high dollar sports gambling ring with Parker, tried to rob him at gunpoint and shot his wife. Parker's attorneys say their client then shot Capnerhurst.

Innvestigators say both Capnerhurst and Tammy Parker were shot multiple times.

According to arrest warrants, Parker's claim that Capnerhurst shot Tammy Parker has been has been blown up by a combination of autopsy findings, physical evidence at the scene, cell phone records, surveillance video from the home, and witness statements throughout the investigation.

Parker is said to have given a sworn statement to law enforcement admitting to arming himself and shooting Capnerhurst four times.

However, his attorneys argue he did not kill his wife.

"If you're in debt that's no reason to shoot your wife, otherwise, there would be a lot of wives shot in this county," said Parker's attorney Dave Fedor.

There was significant debate over whether the accused killer, Parker, should be granted bond Thursday. Bryan Capnerhurst's stepson, Heyward Barnes, made an emotional plea to the court to keep Parker behind bars, saying the fact that Parker had been free until last week had caused his family an alarming amount of stress. He told the court his family had installed a security system in their home out of fear.

"Each day for the last three-and-a-half months we've been concerned for the safety of our family," said Heyward Barnes. "It's taken an immense emotional toll on us, especially in the case of my mother and little sister."

Parker's attorneys argued the case against him is more "innuendo than fact;" and questioned why it took more than three months to charge Parker.

"Based on our information that we have right now we are going to get a bond in this case because Mr. Brett Parker was a victim in this case and we're going to prove it," said Parker's attorney Mark Whitlark.

Parker's legal team plans to file a motion to secure another bond hearing as soon as possible. They say they are waiting for the soliticitor's office to release more information in the case before making that move.