Three individuals have been charged with capital murder in connection with two deaths in July in Barton County, Attorney General Derek Schmidt said. Two other individuals are charged with related crimes.
Schmidt filed criminal charges against Kimberly Younger, 52, McIntosh, Fla.; Michael Fowler Jr., 54, Sarasota, Fla.; Rusty Frasier, 35, Aransas Pass, Texas; Christine Tenney, 38, Santa Fe, Tex.; and Thomas Drake, 31, Van Buren, Ark. The charges are in connection with the deaths of Alfred “Sonny” Carpenter and Pauline Carpenter, both of Wichita, at the Barton County Fair in July.
Investigators believe carnival workers killed the Carpenters, who sold crafts, jewelry, purses and other handmade items during the fair. The suspects allegedly used the couple’s recreational vehicle to drive the bodies 320 miles to Van Buren, Arkansas. Their bodies were found on July 16 next to a creek bed outside the small community of Natural Dam in the Ozark National Forest.
The charges were filed Thursday and arrest warrants executed Friday.
The most serious charges against the individuals are as follows:
• Younger is charged with one count of capital murder, one count of conspiracy to commit murder, one count of criminal solicitation and one count of theft. Bond has been set at $1 million.
• Fowler is charged with one count of capital murder and one count of theft. Bond has been set at $1 million.
• Frasier is charged with one count of capital murder. Bond has been set at $1 million.
• Tenney is charged with three counts of obstructing apprehension. Bond has been set at $10,000.
• Drake is charged with three counts of obstructing apprehension. Bond has been set at $10,000.
The defendants are in custody in Crawford County, Ark., pending extradition.
The attorney general’s office noted that criminal charges are merely accusations. All individuals are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.