Dateline   |  July 26, 2013

'Mystery at Ascot Estates,' Part 4

Secrets come out in court as Parker goes on trial.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> in august of 2012 , columbia, south carolina , was reeling from the news that brett parker , the only survivor of a tragedy which left two people dead, had himself been charged as the cold-blooded killer who masterminded the whole plan. brett 's family and friends believed he was a man wrongly accused.

>> i just wanted them to know he was innocent. every time he said i am not -- i did not do it.

>> even tammy 's close friend, former band mate woody woodward had a hard time believing brett was guilty.

>> had you no reason to doubt brett at that.

>> i believed him. they called me to be a character witness and i told them i'd be glad to because i did not see him doing this.

>> when the trial began in may, it was a courtroom divided. on one side brett 's family and friends including his and tammy 's teenage daughter. on the other side, friends and family of tammy and bryan sat together. they wore blue, tammy 's favorite color as a show of unity against the man they believed murder the both victims.

>> they were shot.

>> in her opening statement, the prosecutor minced no words, brett parker had committed a terrible crime then elaborately covered it up.

>> as you listen to the details of this case, you will be firmly convinced that it was brett parker who not only had the motive but actually did kill tammy parker . and then bryan capnerhurst.

>> prosecutors wanted the jury to know that the parker marriage wasn't what it seemed. brett had strayed. once with an out of town woman and several times with a local bank teller . linsey mullins testified that they met, they texted and that he shared some confidences about his marriage.

>> he said that he slept up juries sustain she slept down p downstairs.

>> but the parkers had more problems than just brett 's affairs. they called ben staples to the fanned, a parker family friend.

>> what do you think of the marriage?

>> well, as the years went by, she was unhappy. she had conversations. we had conversations regarding religion. brett did not believe in god and going to church. that was important to her.

>> then ben revealed another bit of evidence about the parkers' shaky marriage this, one a bomb bombshell.

>> become intimate.

>> yes.

>> how many years ago was that.

>> three years ago.

>> did that end?

>> it did. it did not end our friendship. we remained best friends until her murder.

>> the public admission of the affair was a total shock. even to those closest to tammy . so this was a secret she kept from her girlfriend.

>> we always felt like ben probably loved tammy because how could you not love tammy and we didn't know ben that well. so we didn't think that that had happened.

>> lanny guptser an old friend and fellow bookie testified four months before the murders brett was talking about a separation.

>> my advice to him if he wanted it was that being that it was coming up on the holidays for him to try to work it out with tammy and at least get through the holidays for the kids' sake and after the first of the year try to get together and if separating was the option so be it.

>> a bad marriage is one thing, murder is another so prosecutors turned to a different motive, money. unbeknownst to tammy brett was in deep debt. he had made the biggest mistake a bookie can make, he gambled himself and brett wasn't too good at it.

>> guenter told an investigator brett owed him big money .

>> i told him about the debt that brett and i had -- his only count, the 100,000, the 101,000.

>> and this was not the first time it had been a serious issue.

>> it nearly caused divorce then. his father bailed him out, about 100 tu$,000.

>> the state tried to convince the jury that killing tammy had been brett 's way out of a shaky marriage and his gambling debt. tammy had taken out a life insurance policy.

>> 868,000 was the ultimate amount.

>> who was the beneficiary on that?

>> brett .

>> tammy also had close to $200,000 in a 401(k). combined with the insurance, nearly 1.1 million all left to brett . what kind of man sets up his friend to take the fall for murdering his wife and then he murders the friend and leaves him with the legacy of, you know, that he murdered somebody.

>> he wanted to perpetuate this lifestyle. continue to many gale and enjoy the girlfriends and tammy was a hindrance to him. he felt like this was his way out.

>> in court, the ugly accusations seemed to get to brett as the medical examiner testified about tammy 's fatal injuries, brett said he felt ill and was rushed to the hospital. brett was back, however, the next day to hear the prosecution present evidence it said proved he planned the murders, framed his friend and then covered it up. here's how they said he did it. first, he shot and killed his wife in that upstairs office. then at 12:25 p.m ., brett 's own home security camera catches someone peering through the blinds. prosecutors believe it was brett waiting for bryan to arrive for a meeting brett himself had arranged. gunshot residue was found on those blinds, proof the state said that brett had already fired a gun before bryan even arrived.

>> about 12: that who is that peeking out the blinds? that was somebody in our opinion who had just done this heinous thing and was nervously awaiting his patsy, his fall guy to show up.

>> after killing bryan , his fall guy , prosecutors said brett staged the crime scene and planted that gym bag and ammunition.

>> i guess the idea was that was supposed to be some kind of murder bag .

>> and placed the gun he used to kill his wife in bryan 's hand. there's no way bryan brought that gun to brett 's house, a friend testified.

>> did you know whether bryan had a gun?

>> not -- no, but heck no he did not have a gun. brian was scared of guns. there is no way on this earth that bryan capnerhurst had a pistol. none. zero. it did not happen.

>> and there was something else.

>> that gunshot to the forearm --

>> bryan capnerhurst had suffered a major gunshot wound to his arm but he was still clutching the gun as he lay dead on the floor. a medical examiner testified it's unlikely the gun would have stayed in his hand.

>> in my medical opinion, based on the shot to the arm -- to the forearm and falling over i believe that the gun fell out of his hand.

>> the gun had been placed in his hand.

>> the prosecution had made its case. now it was time for the defense top fight back.

>> they had no proof whatsoever they shot his wife. it was completely circumstantial.

>> the defense was about to tell the jury that bryan capnerhurst not brett parker was the real villain.