Across the region

Indictments issued in double homicide


COLUMBIA — A Columbia man who authorities say killed his wife to get $1 million in insurance money, then killed his business partner in an illegal gambling business to try to pin the crime on him has been indicted on two murder charges.

A grand jury handed up the indictments against Brett Parker, 42, on Wednes­day in Richland County.

Prosecutors say Parker was $600,000 in debt and was having two affairs when he killed his 44-year-old wife, Tammy, in their home in a Columbia suburb in April.

Authorities say Parker then used a second gun to kill his gambling business partner, Bryan Capnerhurst, 46, before calling police.

Parker’s attorney calls the accusations by prosecutors ridiculous and says Parker killed Capnerhurst in self-defense after Capnerhurst killed his wife.

Ex-officer pleads guilty in beatings

MACON, GA. — A former Georgia corrections officer has pleaded guilty to conspiring with other officers to assault and injure inmates.

Federal prosecutors said Wednesday that Darren Douglass-Griffin pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to violate the civil rights of inmates and falsification of records in a federal investigation.

Douglass-Griffin admitted he and other correctional officers at Macon State Prison in Oglethorpe assaulted and injured inmates in a series of incidents in 2010. He told prosecutors that correctional officers beat three inmates in separate incidents to punish them. One inmate was beaten so badly he had to be taken from the prison in an ambulance.

Douglass-Griffin also said he and other officers tried to cover up the officers’ involvement by writing false reports and lying to investigators.

He faces up to 25 years in prison.

Home addition for Copeland complete

SNELLVILLE, GA. — An addition to the home of a Georgia woman who has been battling a rare flesh-eating disease has been completed.

Builder Pulte Homes on Wednesday unveiled the 1,956-square-foot wing added on to the suburban Atlanta home of Aimee Copeland’s family. The two-story space is equipped to make it easier for Copeland to get around using a wheelchair and prosthetics.

The $200,000 in work was done at no cost to the family.

The 24-year-old, who is set to go home from rehab in the coming weeks, suffered a deep cut May 1 when she fell from a broken zip-line over a west Georgia river. She then contracted a rare infection called necrotizing fasciitis.

In other news

GEORGIA LOTTERY Corp. President and CEO Margaret DeFrancisco announced her retirement Wednesday. She will stay on the job until a successor, chosen by the Lottery Board, is in place.

A RETIREMENT CEREMONY will be held Saturday at Fort Benning, Ga., for Brig. Gen. Rodney J. Barham, the deputy commanding general who oversees reserve components for U.S. Army Forces Command, the largest command in the Army, responsible for roughly 750,000 soldiers.