Current News Releases

Texas man pleads guilty to two counts of first degree murder

Release Date: Jul 08, 2019

Arkansas man pleads guilty to obstructing apprehension in related case

GREAT BEND – (July 8, 2019) – Two defendants today pleaded guilty to crimes in connection with the July 2018 deaths of Alfred “Sonny” Carpenter and Pauline Carpenter, both of Wichita, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said.

Rusty Lee Frasier, 36, of Aransas Pass, Texas, pleaded guilty to two counts of first degree premeditated murder in Barton County District Court. Thomas Donald Drake, 32, of Van Buren, Arkansas, pleaded guilty to one count of obstructing apprehension. District Judge Steve Johnson accepted the pleas in both cases. Sentencing has not yet been scheduled in either case.

In May, Christine M. Tenney, 39, of La Marque, Texas, pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated robbery and one count of obstructing apprehension in the case. In March, Michael Fowler, Jr., 54, of Sarasota, Florida, pleaded guilty to two counts of first degree murder and one count of theft in the case. Sentencing remains pending in both cases.

The cases were investigated by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation; Van Buren, Arkansas Police Department; and the Crawford County, Arkansas, Sheriff’s Office. Deputy Attorney General Vic Braden and Assistant Attorney General Jessica Domme of Schmidt’s office are prosecuting the cases.

Related charges against one additional defendant remain pending. Charges are merely accusations; defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. 

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News releases issued prior to 2011 are available through an archive hosted by the Kansas State Library.