Infamous Richland County double murder gets the spotlight in new ‘Dateline’ podcast

Sarah Ellis
·2 min read

A gripping double-murder case from Richland County involving gambling, affairs and a nearly convincing cover-up is once again in the spotlight for true-crime junkies.

The 2012 killings of Tammy Jo Parker and Bryan Capnerhurst are the subject of a recent Dateline NBC podcast episode, which revisits an earlier television version of the saga.

Brett Parker, an Irmo salesman and sports bookie, was convicted in 2013 of killing his wife and friend and is now serving two life sentences in prison.

The case captured national attention both during and after Parker’s trial. Prosecutors convinced a jury that Brett Parker, a man in severe gambling debt, lured his friend and betting business partner, Capnerhurst, to his home, then fatally shot the man and tried to frame his friend for the murder of his own wife.

Initially, investigators seemed to support Parker’s original account of the killings. He claimed that on April 13, 2012, Capnerhurst, desperate for cash, had come to the Parkers’ house to rob their safe. Capnerhurst, Parker said, fatally shot Tammy, and Parker shot Capnerhurst in self defense. Capnerhurst’s body was found clutching the gun that was used to shoot Tammy Parker.

However, doubts were soon cast on Parker’s tale. It began to look like he had tried to cover up his tracks at the crime scene, though it took weeks for investigators to piece together a clearer picture.

As they uncovered more evidence, investigators became convinced Parker had shot and killed his wife, waited for Capnerhurst to arrive at their home, then killed his friend, too.

After a three-week trial and three hours of jury deliberation, Parker was unanimously convicted of the killings in May 2013.

The case also opened a window into the world of illegal sports betting in the Midlands. After his double-murder conviction, Parker was subsequently convicted of running a gambling ring, along with his father, Jack Parker.

Brett Parker lost an appeal of his murder conviction in 2016 and remains imprisoned.

The Dateline NBC podcast, titled “The Mystery at Ascot Estates,” dives deep into many details of the Parker investigation and trial. It includes interviews with Parker’s defense attorney, friends of the Parker family and Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott. You’ll also hear audio straight from the trial, including testimonies by Parker and by the couple’s daughter, who was a teenager at the time of the killings.

The episode can be found online at dateline-nbc.simplecast.com and through podcast listening platforms including Spotify and Apple Podcasts.