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BENTONVILLE, Ark. (BP)–A 39-year-old homosexual faces life in prison without parole after entering a guilty plea for the capital murder and rape of a 13-year-old boy.
Prosecutors had charged Davis Don Carpenter with orchestrating his 23-year-old homosexual partner Joshua Brown in a five-hour raping of Jesse Dirkhising, in which the seventh-grader was bound with duct tape, gagged with dirty underwear and sodomized before dying of asphyxiation and a forced overdose of antidepressant.
Carpenter’s April 18 guilty plea in Bentonville, Ark., followed a March 22 guilty verdict against Brown, 23, for first degree murder and rape in a weeklong trial in the same Benton County courthouse. Brown was sentenced to life in prison plus 25 years. Carpenter received two concurrent life sentences without parole.
The case has provoked a national discussion over the lack of media and celebrity attention it received, with conservatives citing a pro-homosexual cultural bias when compared to the sweeping amount of empathetic coverage devoted to the 1998 killing of a homosexual, Matthew Shepard, by two men in Wyoming.
The 13-year-old Dirkhising was visiting in the homosexual duo’s apartment in Rogers, Ark., when he was molested in September 1999.
In accepting Carpenter’s guilty plea, Circuit Judge David Clinger told the defendant, “I’ll tell you this, Mr. Carpenter — these two crimes are terrible. A young man lost his life, but I can accept this and I will accept this arrangement because to this day there has never been any thread of evidence that either you or Josh Brown intended to take the life of Jesse Dirkhising. That’s significant and it convinced me that the sentence that’s being recommended here today is appropriate,” according to a report in The Benton County Daily Record.
Carpenter, in a statement before the court, said in a quivering voice, “I’d like to say to Miles and Tina [Yates, the teen’s mother and stepfather] that I’m sorry Jesse’s gone. I tried to save him but couldn’t. Every day I pray for them and I will continue to pray for the rest of my life that the Lord will heal the hole in their heart,” according to a report in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Carpenter’s trial had been scheduled to begin May 7. According to one media report, prosecutors had planned to submit short stories Carpenter had written detailing future rapes and tortures and mentioning one local girl by name.