GREAT BEND – (March 5, 2019) – A Florida man late yesterday pleaded guilty to two counts of first degree murder and one count of theft, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said.
Michael Fowler, Jr., 54, of Sarasota, Florida, pleaded guilty to the three counts in Barton County District Court. District Judge Mike Keeley accepted the pleas. Sentencing has not yet been scheduled.
As part of the plea agreement, Schmidt agreed to dismiss the count of capital murder in the case.
Fowler was charged with the crimes in connection with the July 2018 deaths of Alfred “Sonny” Carpenter and Pauline Carpenter, both of Wichita.
The case was investigated by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the Great Bend Police Department in Kansas, as well as the Van Buren Police Department and Crawford County Sherriff’s Office in Arkansas. Deputy Attorney General Vic Braden, Assistant Attorney General Jessica Domme and Assistant Attorney General Lyndzie Carter of Schmidt’s office are prosecuting the case.
Related charges against four other defendants remain pending. Charges are merely accusations; defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.