Brett Parker sentenced to life in prison for double murder
Tue, 28 May 2013 23:45:04 GMT —
COLUMBIA (WACH / AP) -- A jury has convicted Brett Parker of murder in the deaths of his wife and business partner. He will spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The jury unanimously found Parker guilty of the murder of both his wife, Tammy Jo, and business partner, Bryan Capnerhurst. It only took the jury a few hours of deliberations to deliver the guilty verdicts. The jury got the case shortly before 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Parker's daughter and family wept in the courtroom shortly after the verdict was read. An audible gasp was heard as the verdict was read.
Judge DeAndrea Benjamin sentenced Brett Parker to two consecutive life sentences without parole Tuesday night. The sentence was handed down shortly after a jury deliberated for three hours before returning a guilty verdict.
The trial for Brett Parker had continued for more than three weeks. Closing arguments took place earlier Tuesday.
Parker testified last week that Capnerhurst came into his home and quickly killed his wife, then demanded money from Parker's safe. Parker says he got a gun from on top of his safe and killed Capnerhurst.
Parker got frustrated as the prosecution questioned him about his actions immediately after the shooting.
"You gone sit here and tell me after what I was going through - Is there a book on what you're supposed to do?" asked Parker. "Because I was out of my mind. I had just killed somebody, and now I'm sitting there looking at my wife laying there in a puddle of blood."
Prosecutors questioned Parker's version. They say Capnerhurst entered the home 11 minutes before Parker called 911 to report the shooting.
The shooting took place in Parker's Ascot Estates home on April 13, 2012. The investigation into the murders shed light on a sports gambling operation. At least 14 suspects have been charged in connection with the betting ring.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)