A North Carolina man, convicted on DNA evidence in September 2011 for a 2005 double murder, told a judge this week he had ineffective counsel during his trial.
Bruce Antwain Hill, 33, of Tabor City, N.C., had filed an appeal after his conviction of the murders of Diane and Charles Parker Sr., both found shot to death April 12, 2005, in their home off S.C. 90 near S.C. 22. Hill was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
The South Carolina Supreme Court upheld his sentence in July 2014. Hill filed an application for post-conviction relief in another effort to vacate or change his sentence with the state the following year.
In court Tuesday, Hill requested a new attorney. His hearing was continued until May.
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Hill and 44-year-old Richard Gagnon were each convicted in the Parkers’ deaths.
Gagnon was convicted in 2007, but police did not know about Hill until his mouth was swabbed for DNA when he began a seven-year prison sentence for a robbery in Tennessee.
Horry County police charged Hill in 2009 after his DNA sample was uploaded into a national database and linked to the Parkers’ deaths, according to authorities.
Fifteenth Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson said Hill’s blood was found inside the Parker home, but at the time of Gagnon’s trial the blood evidence baffled litigators.
Gagnon, who had dated Diane Parker’s daughter, Bambi Bennett, denied playing a role in the slayings and during a hearing in September 2013 Gagnon denied knowing Hill.
Bennett also was charged in the deaths of her mother and stepfather, but prosecutors later dropped those charges. She also denied knowing Hill.
Prosecutors linked Gagnon to the crimes after Charles Parker Sr.’s blood was found on Gagnon’s shoes. Gagnon said he got the blood on his shoes after he went inside the Parkers’ home after police and crime scene had left and removed crime scene tape.
After a witness was found to have lied during Gagnon’s trial, he successfully appealed his case. The charges against him were ultimately dismissed in 2015.