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Tammy Parker was found dead by her husband, Brett Parker, in their Columbia, S.C., home. Brett Parker told police his wife was shot by his bookie associate, Bryan Capnerhurst, when he was attempting to rob Parker's safe. Parker maintained he had no choice but to shoot Capnerhurst in self-defense.
Police took Brett Parker's story at face value and then began to investigate. The case would expose the inner workings of a family bookmaking operation, a co-worker with financial problems demanding money he was owed, and a marriage rocked by affairs.
"You had lots of money, high-stakes bookies and gambling, you had sex, and you had murder," Richland County, S.C. Sheriff Leon Lott tells 48 HOURS. "This was the O.J. Simpson case of Columbia."
Brett Parker was a star athlete in high school who went on to work for a medical supply company. He was also a sports bookie. Tammy Parker, who worked in pharmaceutical sales, was the breadwinner, police say. She was also a part-time singer.
Everything seemed fine until April 13, 2012, when Brett called 911 to say his wife had been shot by Capnerhurst. After finding his wife dead, Parker says he was facing Capnerhurst with a gun. "I shot him, I think I killed him," Parker told the 911 dispatcher.
"I've said from the very beginning it was a robbery gone bad," well-known South Carolina attorney Dave Fedor tells 48 HOURS.
The local medical examiner, however, has some other thoughts on what happened.
"I actually speak for the dead," medical examiner Dr. Bradley Marcus tells Schlesinger. "I'm their last doctor that they see. I find out whether or not that story that I was told kind of fits my autopsy findings."
And did the story he was told fit his findings?
"It did not fit," Marcus tells Schlesinger. "It just didn't make any sense to me."
Schlesinger and the 48 Hours team tell the story through interviews with the Parkers' family members, police and Brett Parker's attorney. 48 HOURS: "A Bad Bet" is produced by Pamela Mason Wagner and Chris Young Ritzen. Matt Goldfarb is the associate producer. Al Briganti is the executive editor. Susan Zirinsky is the senior executive producer.