Garrard woman apparently kills self after being indicted

July 30, 2004|TODD KLEFFMAN

LANCASTER - A Garrard County woman who was accused of having sexual relations with a minor less than 14 years old and other charges apparently committed suicide the day after she bonded out of jail.

The body of Alice Carpenter, 41, was discovered Saturday in a barn on her Paint Lick property. She had hung herself, said Garrard County Sheriff Ronnie Wardrip.

Wardrip said he had arrested Carpenter on Friday on a warrant issued after a Garrard County grand jury indicted her on two counts of second-degree rape, second-degree sodomy, unlawful transaction with a minor and distribution of obscene matter to minors.

Carpenter posted a $30,000 property bond the same day she was arrested, Wardrip said. "She made a property bond over at the clerk's office and she was gone," the sheriff said. "The next day she hung herself in the barn."


Carpenter's obituary stated she was a substitute teacher and horticulturist. Funeral services were Wednesday in Berea.

Carpenter was estranged from her husband, Donald Carpenter, who testified against her before the grand jury and was mentioned in the indictment as a possible accomplice in the charges of unlawful transaction with a minor and distribution of obscene matter to minors, both misdemeanors.

An arrest warrant for Donald Carpenter on those charges was issued Thursday, and he is expected to turn himself in today, Wardrip said.

The indictment against Alice Carpenter alleges that she twice had sex and once had deviate sexual intercourse with a minor less than 14. The minor was the same on all three counts. The incidents occurred in Garrard County between November 2003 and April 2004, the indictment states.

The misdemeanor charge of unlawful transaction with a minor stemmed from allegations that Alice Carpenter "alone, or in complicity with Donald Carpenter," provided alcohol to minors. The fifth charge alleges Carpenter and possibly her husband exhibited obscene materials to minors.

Garrard County Coroner Daryl Hodge said he initially ruled Carpenter's death a suicide and a decision was made not to perform an autopsy. However, calls to the sheriff's office suggested that her death may not have come by her own hand, so the body was sent to the state Medical Examiner's office.

Though results from the autopsy are not complete, both Hodge and Wardrip said they have little doubt about the cause of death.

Central Kentucky News Articles