Capnerhurst's Widow Testifies
Cindy Capnerhurst testifies against Brett Parker
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) -- An emotional widow of Bryan Capnerhurst, Cindy, was called to the stand by prosecutors late afternoon. It is the first time we hear her account of how much debt she and her husband were in and whether he was willing to kill to settle those debts.
She burst into tears as she stated Bryan told her the day before the murders that if she had not heard from him within an hour of his scheduled meeting with Brett Parker the next day, to call 911. She testified that Bryan Capnerhurst was concerned Brett Parker would become violent when asked about the money Parker owed him. It was in excess of $21,000.
She also stated that while her husband gambled previously in their marriage and that they had financial problems, he stopped gambling once their 17-year-old daughter was born in 1995. She admitted to having pleaded guilty to embezzling $35,000 some years ago, defense lawyers maintain, to pay her husband's gambling debt. Based on court testimony, she says her lawyer at the time stated the money was to repay her husband's gambling debts but that it was not true. When asked why she allowed that testimony to continue, she replied, "He did all the talking, and I was not in my right mind at the time." That lawyer, she says, is now incarcerated.
Upon cross-examination by defense lawyers, she testified that she and her husband never discussed the amount of money that may have been in a safe at Brett Parker's home. Defense lawyers have maintained that Cindy and Bryan conversed about the amount of money in the safe in order to confirm Capnerhurst's desire to get back money owed to him by Brett Parker. She denies that Bryan Capnerhurst participated in gambling after the birth of their daughter.
Afternoon court proceedings began with a woman who testified that she sent text messages to Brett Parker that were 'flirty' in nature, which the State claims confirms Parker's numerous extra-marital affairs. Prosecutors say that, in part, proves Parker wanted his wife Tammy Jo, out of the way so he could collect on her $1million life insurance policy.
Natasha Nadkarni stated that Brett Parker and she engaged in conversations that were 'flirty' in nature. In a voice mail recording played in court, Nadkarni can be heard saying she misses Parker several months leading up to the crimes; their contact ended abruptly in October 2011. Tammy Jo Parker had reportedly found out about the text messages the following month. The Defense presented that the reason Nadkarni was trying to contact Parker after the crimes were committed is that she had not seen or talked to him in several months and it was nothing more than that. Based on testimony presented, it was not confirmed if Nadkarni and Parker had a sexual relationship.
Monday morning court proceedings in the Brett Parker double murder trial began with a gambling associate of Parker testifying for the Prosecution, detailing that Brett Parker owed him more than $100,000.
Laney Gunter, who is currently incarcerated on a federal gambling charge and sentenced to 10 months (five months in federal prison, five months home arrest), three years probation and a $5,000 fine, was the first witness to take the stand this morning. He stated that at the time of the murders of Tammy Jo Parker and Bryan Capnerhurst, Brett Parker owed him in excess of $101,000. Gunter, a close friend of Brett Parker and his family, testified that he and Parker participated in sports betting (collegiate, pro, etc.) on a regular basis.
He took the witness stand in a blue prison jumpsuit, hands and feet shackled. When cross-examined by Parker's defense lawyer, he was questioned whether authorities offered him some kind of deal in exchange for his testimony, to which he responded, "No."
The State has a list of a potentially 150 witnesses it may call.
Brett Parker is on trial, accused of killing his wife, Tammy Jo Parker and gambling associate, Bryan Capnerhurst, in April 2012, in the couple's Irmo home. The Prosecution claims Parker was in debt and killed his wife to cash in on a $1million life insurance policy and killed Capnerhurst to frame him for the crimes. The Defense maintains Parker shot and killed Bryan Capnerhurst (to whom Brett Parker also reportedly owed money) in self-defense after Capnerhurst shot and killed Tammy Jo Parker.
The trial is in its third full week. Court proceedings are scheduled to continue tomorrow.
Wind: 3 MPH
Humidity: 53 %