Kansas Supreme Court upholds sentence for Florida man convicted in “carnival mafia” deaths

Michael Fowler
Michael Fowler(KASPER)
Published: Apr. 22, 2022 at 1:10 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Kansas Supreme Court has upheld two hard-50 life sentences and a felony theft sentence for a Florida man who was convicted in the murder of a Wichita couple as part of a “carnival mafia.”

The Kansas Supreme Court says in the matter of Appeal No. 123,820: State of Kansas v. Michael A. Fowler, it affirmed Fowler’s sentence for two counts of first-degree murder and theft.

Following Fowler’s convictions for both counts of premeditated first-degree murder and one count of felony theft, Court records indicate the Barton Co. District Court denied Fowler’s motion for his sentence to be reduced.

Fowler, who is from Sarasota, Fla., had originally received a sentence of two consecutive hard-50 life terms for the murders and one concurrent 21-month term for the theft.

On direct appeal, the Court said it affirmed Fowler’s sentence.

In a unanimous opinion written by Justice Melissa Standridge, the Court said it rejected Fowler’s claim the district court had abused its discretion with its refusal to grant the downward departure sentence.

The Court cited its comprehensive analysis which found the mitigating factors advanced by Fowler did not constitute substantial and compelling reasons to depart from the statutory presumptive sentence.

Fowler was sentenced in July 2020 for the crimes which resulted in the deaths of Alfred “Sonny” Carpenter and Pauline Carpenter in Wichita which occurred on July 14, 2018.

Two other defendants remain in prison on their life sentences for the murders as part of a fictitious “carnival mafia.”

The couple’s bodies were discovered in July in shallow graves near Van Buren, Ark., after they were killed at the Barton Co. Fair where they had been vendors. The suspects worked for a carnival company at the fair.

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