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Fowler appeals 100-year sentence in double homicide
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Michael Fowler

Michael Fowler Jr., one of three people convicted of murder in the deaths of Alfred and Pauline Carpenter at the Barton County Fair in 2018, is appealing his two “Hard 50” sentences. The case is on the Kansas Supreme Court Summary Calendar for Friday, Feb. 4.

Three other cases are also on Friday’s calendar, which comes at the end of a week of oral arguments on a docket of unrelated cases. There will be no oral arguments presented Friday.

Fowler pled guilty to two counts of first-degree premeditated murder and one count of felony theft under a plea agreement. Before sentencing, he filed a motion for a downward departure sentence. As a result of the plea, the State dismissed the charge of capital murder for Fowler’s part in the murder of the Wichita couple and the theft of their truck, camper, and trailer.

Finding no compelling reasons to justify a downward departure, the district court denied Fowler’s motion and sentenced him to a statutorily required sentence of a Hard 50 life sentence for each murder. The court ordered these sentences to be served consecutively, with the sentence for felony theft conviction to be served concurrently. Fowler has appealed the denial of his downward departure motion. The issue on review is whether the district court erred in failing to grant a downward departure sentence by finding there was no substantial and compelling reason to support a departure.