Where is Bambi Bennett’s Ex-Boyfriend Richard Gagnon Now? – The terrible tale of Richard Gagnon, wrongfully convicted of the murder of Diane and Charles Parker Sr., his girlfriend’s parents who lived in Nixonville, South Carolina, in April 2005.
Investigation Discovery’s episode “Unusual Suspects: Deadly Intent: Shattered Dreams“ focuses on Diane and Charles Parker Sr.’s murders and the wrongful conviction of Richard Gagnon.
After an 8-year legal battle, he was ultimately able to leave prison, albeit his record was not wiped until recently. So, who precisely is this Richard Gagnon, what is his background, and where is he now? Let’s investigate to find out.
Recommended: Diane and Charles Parker Murders: Where is Bruce Antwain Hill Today?
Richard Gagnon, who is he?
A 32-year-old white guy named Richard Gagnon lived in Horry County, South Carolina. In April 2005, he began dating Bambi Bennett, the stepdaughter of Charles Parker Sr. and Diane’s child from a prior union. However, the pair were detained on suspicion of first-degree murder and burglary following the shooting death of their parents at their Nixonville, South Carolina, home on April 12, 2005. A conflict over the inheritance and custody of Bambi’s two sons—whom she had from a previous marriage—led the pair to leave the Parkers’ home after a lengthy stay.
When the older couple was not home, Richard, Bambi, and the boys—ages 12 and 14—came to the Parker home only to eat and take showers. They had previously lived in the woods in a tent. Later, they settled into a home in Myrtle Beach. On April 11, 2005, witnesses reported seeing Richard and Bambi at the Parker home. The couple was detained in April 2005, two weeks after the bodies were discovered, after investigators discovered Charle’s blood on one of Bambi’s boots and Richard’s shoes inside their home.
Bambi was cleared of all charges in May 2007 because there was insufficient evidence to connect her to the crime scene, and the blood test on her boot was inconclusive. The blood, however, had been discovered on Richard’s shoe, and the detectives had determined that it had come from the crime scene and had apparently arrived there after the murder. Richard asserted that he had entered the house after the police had removed the bodies to obtain Bambi’s course and vehicle keys, and he categorically denied having any involvement in the double homicide.
He asserted that he might have stepped into the bloody area near the restroom where Charles’ body was found. The prosecution introduced the other convict, Robert Lee Mullins, who had been with Richard during pre-trial confinement, as a trump card. Mullins allegedly told him that Richard had confessed to him about carrying out the killings. On March 13, 2008, the jury found Richard guilty of two counts of first-degree murder and burglary based on this testimony and other evidence. Because of his convictions, Richard was given a life sentence without the chance of release.
Additionally, the blood at the crime scene included an unidentified DNA profile that did not belong to the victims or the couple who had been detained. The authorities eventually identified a match in Bruce Antwain Hill in 2009. He was also charged with two murders and was given a life sentence without the possibility of parole. Authorities asserted that Richard and Bruce killed the victims jointly. But in a prison interview, Bruce denied knowing Richard.
Where is Richard Gagnon Now?
Richard’s appellant lawyer, Robert “Bob” Dudek, submitted a post-conviction request for a new trial in 2012. Bob introduced Robert Troy Taylor, a former minister of Murrells Inlet Community Church who served as a bridge between Mullins and Richard. Taylor asserted that he ran with Mullins in the Evans Correction Institution’s prison chapel and that Mullins informed him that he had faked his testimony at Richard’s hearing. In 2012, Taylor and Richard routinely played cards while participating in a Bible study group in prison.
During one of these playing sessions, Richard recalled how Muller’s evidence was crucial to his conviction. Through arduous cross-examination, Taylor was able to put the events together and maintain his testimony. It led to the overturning of Richard’s convictions and the approval of his request for a new trial in January 2013. Richard was granted parole in February 2013 on a $50,000 bond while his retrial was ongoing. But on April 23, 2015, his case was thrown out, even though a new docketing system now in place allows for it to be brought before a court at any point in the future.
The charges had not been dropped, according to the prosecution. Richard keeps a low profile despite being a free man now and not having to report to a bondsman. In the remand hearing, Richard’s appellant counsel stated that since his release from jail, Richard, now in his late 40s, had found religion. “His words to me were, ‘I feel blessed,’ and maybe it’s that easy for him,” said Richard’s attorney. Reports from 2021 state that Richard made his home on the Carolina Coast. He has a loving marriage and his own children.
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