Florida man sentenced to life in 2018 death of Wichita couple in Barton County
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - A Barton County judge Monday sentenced a Florida man to life in prison for the deaths of Sonny and Pauline Carpenter, killed in 2018 in Barton County. The Wichita couple’s bodies were found in Arkansas.
Michael Fowler Jr. was the third convicted in the case after pleading guilty last year to two counts of murder. Two others are waiting for sentencing.
Last December, Fowler testified during the preliminary hearing for Kimberly Younger, the 52-year-old Florida woman accused of leading the group involved in the Carpenters’ deaths.
In Barton County District Court, Fowler testified that he was dating Younger for years before the murders, but thought her real name was Jenna Roberts. Fowler says he received Facebook messages from a man named Frank Zaitchik, telling him to commit murder as an initiation into a carnival mafia.
Fowler and Van Buren police said Younger posed as Zaitchik and messaged others to kill the Carpenters on the fairgrounds in Great Bend, where the couple was a vendor. Investigators say Younger used two other aliases.
Fowler testified they chose the Carpenters as targets for the crime because they would be easy targets. Investigators said they also found the gun used to kill the Carpenters in Youngers’ backpack.
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