COLUMBIA — A Columbia man convicted in the deaths of his wife and business partner was sentenced Tuesday to two life terms in prison without the possibility of parole.
Judge DeAndrea Benjamin handed down the sentence to Brett Parker shortly after a jury deliberated for three hours before returning its guilty verdict.
Parker sat stone-faced during the reading of the verdict and in the moments shortly thereafter. Parker’s daughter and family cried in the courtroom shortly after the verdict was read.
Prosecutors said Parker killed his wife, Tammy, in April 2012, then blamed it on business partner Bryan Capnerhurst.
Parker testified last week that Capnerhurst came into his home and killed his wife, then demanded money from Parker’s safe. Parker said he got a gun and killed Capnerhurst.
In closing arguments, prosecutors painted Parker as a scheming, cold-blooded killer who bet that police wouldn’t be able to unravel the crime scene he staged.
“He bet wrong,” prosecutor Luck Campbell said.
Parker’s lawyers said investigators immediately became transfixed by Parker’s illegal gambling ring and made sure they only cared about evidence that might link him to the crime. They said Richland County deputies panicked after three months passed and people became restless because there were no arrests.