2020 News Releases

Florida man sentenced to life in prison for murders

Release Date: Jul 06, 2020

GREAT BEND – (July 6, 2020) – A Florida man was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 100 years after pleading guilty to two counts of first-degree murder, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said.

Michael Fowler, Jr., 56, of Sarasota, Florida, was sentenced today in Barton County District Court by Judge Mike Keeley. Fowler was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for 50 years on each of two counts of first-degree murder. Keeley ordered the two sentences to run consecutively. Fowler was also sentenced to 21 months in prison for theft. Keeley ordered that sentence to run concurrently to the murder sentences.

Fowler pleaded guilty to the charges in March 2019. Fowler was charged with the crimes in connection with the July 2018 deaths of Alfred “Sonny” Carpenter and Pauline Carpenter, both of Wichita.

The case was investigated by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the Great Bend Police Department in Kansas, as well as the Van Buren Police Department and Crawford County Sherriff’s Office in Arkansas. Deputy Attorney General Vic Braden and Assistant Attorney General Jessica Domme of Schmidt’s office are prosecuting the case.

Two additional defendants have been convicted on related charges and are awaiting sentencing.

Related charges against one other 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.