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  1. #1
    Bob Loblaw's Avatar
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    Defendant not as dead as obit claimed

    Defendant not as dead as
    obit claimed

    Trial pending in fatal crash

    Updated: Tuesday, 14 Apr 2009, 12:03 AM MDT

    Published : Monday, 13 Apr 2009, 11:09 PM MDT
    ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - A fugitive defendant in a fatal drunken-driving case planted a fake obituary in an attempt to escape trial, according to attorneys, court records and Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
    Byron Shane Carpenter, 30, was arrested Wednesday after an anonymous tip to MADD offices in Albuquerque.
    “We were quite surprised when we found out that death notification had been filed,” MADD executive director Lora Lee Ortiz told KRQE News 13. “We received the tip last week and within a day and a half he was in custody.”
    Carpenter’s arrest came one month after his obituary appeared in the Albuquerque Journal.
    Weeks after the obituary was published, Carpenter’s wife contacted his attorney, Sandy Barnhart y Chavez, saying he was dead.
    “I received a frantic and crying phone call from his wife saying that Byron had died in a car crash in southern New Mexico,” Barnhart y Chavez said.
    Carpenter faces charges of homicide by vehicle, great bodily injury by vehicle and aggravated driving while intoxicated from a 2006 crash in Edgewood that killed a woman and severely injured her elderly stepfather.
    Barnhart y Chavez filed a notice in the case April 2, notifying the court she had received information Carpenter had died. But she said errors in the obituary made her suspicious.
    “I sent off to vital records a request to get an official death certificate,” the defense attorney said. “But right about then was when we found out he was in jail in Lincoln County.”
    It’s unclear how long Carpenter’s scheme would have worked.
    The Bernalillo County District Attorney’s office was suspicious, too.
    “We did some research,” district attorney spokesperson Pat Davis said. “We were unable to find a death certificate with the Office of the Medical Examiner.
    "We were unable to find anything from vital statistics. So we asked the judge to continue the warrant until somebody could verify one way or the other that he was not here or that he could be found.”
    Crash survivor Russell Kealen, 93, told News 13 he knows very little about Carpenter.
    “I don’t know beans from apple butter about him,” Kealen said. “All I was told was that he was drunk.”
    Kealen is still recovering from injuries to both of his legs. He was notified this week of Carpenter’s arrest.
    U.S. marshals reported finding Carpenter hiding under a pile of rocks outside Capitan.
    Barnhart y Chavez said she does not want to represent Carpenter anymore.
    “I’ve been an attorney 30 years, and I’ve never had a client try to fake their death before," she said. "I’m flabbergasted, and I no longer want to be his attorney.”


    CARPENTER -- Byron Shane Carpenter January 15, 1979 - March 2, 2009 Byron passed away last Monday in a car accident. He was a loving father and husband. May he rest in peace. Anthony-Bethany Funeral Home
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  2. #2
    Captain America's Avatar
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    I vote we turn the obituary from a work of fiction to non-fiction.

    "It's a great life. You risk your skin catching killers and the juries turn them loose so they can come back and shoot at you again. If your honest , your poor your whole life. And , In the end , you wind up dying all alone on some dirty street. For what? For nothing. For a tin star."
    -Ex-Sheriff Martin Howe to Will Kane in "High Noon"

    Far from being a handicap to command, compassion is the measure of it. For unless one values the lives of his soldiers and is tormented by their ordeals , he is unfit to command.
    -General Omar Bradley, United States Army


  3. #3
    jmur5074's Avatar
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    If you're going to fake your own death, you could at least write a halfway decent obit.
    No one has greater love than this, to lay down ones life for ones friends - John 15:13

    "The Wicked Flee When No Man Pursueth: But The Righteous Are Bold As A Lion".

    We lucky few, we band of brothers. For he who today sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.

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    The opinions, beliefs, and ideas expressed in this post are mine, and mine alone. They are NOT the opinions, beliefs, ideas, or policies of my Agency, Police Chief, City Council, or any member of my department.



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