Woman sentenced over involvement in the murder of Wichita couple

Crime

GREAT BEND, Kan. (KSNW) — Kimberly Stacey Younger, a 57-year-old carnival worker from Texas, was sentenced in Barton County District Court today for her involvement in the murder of a Wichita couple.

Younger was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole, plus 254 months in the custody of the Kansas Department of Corrections.

Alfred “Sonny” Carpenter and Pauline Carpenter disappeared from the Barton County Fair in 2018, where they were vendors. Their bodies were found in a shallow grave in the Ozark National Forest during the summer of 2018. Investigators believe they were killed in Barton County then driven to Arkansas. Younger is one of several carnies who were arrested in the killing of the couple.

In July of 2019, Rusty Lee Fraiser, 36, of Texas, pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree premeditated murder. Thomas Donald Drake, 32, of Arkansas, pleaded guilty to one count of obstructing apprehension.

Then, in May of 2019, Christine M. Tenney, 39, of Texas, pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery and obstructing apprehension in the case. Finally, Michael Fowler, Jr., 54, of Florida, pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder and one count of theft in the case.

Younger appeared in court in December of 2019 to file testimony. Fowler agreed to testify.

During his testimony, he stated that Younger planned the deaths as an initiation for him to join a fake group she called the “Carnival Mafia.” He was then very emotional as he described exactly how they killed and hid the bodies.

Investigators say Younger posed as a carnival worker named “Frank Zaitchik” and texted the others to kill the couple.

As Fowler left the courtroom, he told the couple’s daughter, “I’m so sorry.”

Arkansas law enforcement testified about finding the bodies in Ozark National Forest. They mentioned that Younger was repeatedly asking about whether they found the gun. She later stated that the murder weapon was in her bag. Law enforcement later recovered a Ruger 9 mm that belonged to Fowler.

The couple’s daughter said that her parents were selling jewelry and crafts at various fairs because they were planning on retiring during the summer of 2018. Fowler said that this made them such an “easy target.”

The judge then said that there was enough evidence to send Younger to trial.

In September of 2021, Younger was found guilty of capital murder, conspiracy to commit murder in the first degree, solicitation to commit murder in the first degree and theft.

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