Woman pleads not guilty to capital murder in 'carnival mafia' deaths of Wichita couple

Published: Feb. 19, 2020 at 3:26 PM CST
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The woman accused of leading the "carnival mafia" murders of a Wichita couple in July 2018 pleads not guilty in the case.

Kimberly Younger has six charges against her, including capital murder, in the deaths of Alfred "Sonny" and Pauline Carpenter.

Prosecutors say the Carpenters were working as vendors at the Barton County Fair when they were killed, driven to Arkansas and buried in a shallow grave.

During Wednesday's arraignment in Great Bend, prosecutors took the death penalty off the table meaning Younger now faces life in prison with no chance of parole if convicted in the case.

Other charges against her include first-degree premeditated murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree premeditated murder, solicitation to commit first-degree premeditated murder and felony theft.

Along with the not guilty plea, Younger waived her right to a speedy trial (within 150 days of arraignment). She requested a trial in May or June of 2021 so possible out of state witnesses who work in the carnival industry can travel to Kansas. No date was set.

The prosecution and defense have until May 6 to come up with the framework and timeline for the jury trial and will present it to the judge then set a date.

Two other defendants in the case, Michael Fowler and Rusty Fraiser. pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder.

Status hearings for both men are scheduled for Friday.