Husband and wife Charlie and Diane Parker, both 54 years old, lived on their family farm in Horry County, South Carolina. On April 12, 2005, they were brutally shot to death in their home. Diane's daughter (Charlie's stepdaughter), Bambi Bennett and her boyfriend Richard Gagnon, were charged with first-degree murder. Bennett spent six months in jail before charges against her were dropped due to a lack of DNA evidence. In 2008, Gagnon was found guilty (blood was found on his sneaker) and ordered to serve two life sentences in prison for killing the Parkers. According to the prosecution, Bennett and Gagnon argued with the Parkers over custody of Bambi’s children (ages 12 and 14) and property she says she inherited from her grandfather. After serving seven years in prison, in 2013, Gagnon’s conviction was overturned after an incarcerated inmate recanted his testimony – he had said Gagnon told him he “did it.”
Years later, DNA from the Parker crime scene eventually led police to 24-year-old Bruce Hill who was at the time in a Tennessee prison for robbery. In 2013, Hill was convicted of murdering the Parkers and is serving two consecutive life sentences. In 2015, prosecution dismissed charges against Gagnon. Dateline NBC will air its investigative report on the double homicide of the Parkers on February 4 at 10pm.
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