Brett Parker's Story Scrutinized

Written and verbal accounts from Parker picked apart in court


By Monique Williams

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) -- Afternoon testimony continued with lengthy questioning of an investigator with the Richland County Sheriff's Department, where prosecutors sought to highlight what they claim to be inconsistencies in Brett Parker's account of events the day of the murders.

Investigator Travis Holdorf testified that Brett Parker's written statement of what happened April 13, 2012, differs from his verbal statements. Holdorf is, by far, the witness who has been on the stand the longest; questioning of him lasted more than two hours. The prosecution is seeking to illustrate Brett Parker as someone whose story changed, depending on whom he spoke with. The Defense motioned for several objections, citing prejudicial testimony offered by witnesses could be damaging to his client.

Morning testimony--

Among the witnesses to take the stand this morning in the Brett Parker double murder trial included a former employee of Parker's, a former gambling buddy of Parker's and the stepfather of Brett Parker's wife, Tammy Jo.

Al Munzey, a former co-worker of Brett Parker, testified to the graphic nature in which he said Brett described how he shot and killed Bryan Capnerhurst, and that after shooting Capnerhurst multiple times, "he stood over him and shot him right between the eyes."

The second witness was Harry Benzenhaley, a former gambling associate of Brett Parker. Benzenhaley, who is currently on house arrest and probation after that for illegal gambling, spoke to the $176,000 he claims Brett Parker owed him and another gambling bookie. The Defense, while cross-examining Benzenhaley, maintains that he was told his testimony would guarantee him a reduced sentence.

Third on the stand was Jerry Carswell, stepfather to Tammy Jo Parker, who raised her since the age of two. He testified to the support he had for Brett and Tammy Jo Parker but that Brett Parker was a selfish man who put his needs before those of others. He also testified that he witnessed Tammy Jo Parker joking about 'being careful' around Brett because she had a substantial life insurance policy worth nearly $1million.

Brett Parker is on trial, accused of killing wife Tammy Jo Parker and business associate, Bryan Capnerhurst at the Parkers' Irmo home in April 2012. Prosecutors claim Brett Parker was a cheating husband who had mounting gambling debt and that he killed his wife to cash in on her life insurance policy; they allege he killed Bryan Capnerhurst to frame him for the crimes. Defense lawyers contend Brett Parker shot and killed Bryan Capnerhurst in self defense, after Capnerhurst shot and killed Tammy Jo. Capnerhurst had gone to the Parker home to collect some $21,000 Brett Parker owed him.

The State could rest its case by the end of the week.

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