Defense lawyer in murder case seeks ‘missing’ evidence

MARQUETTE – A Wednesday afternoon hearing in Marquette County Circuit Court brought a year-old alleged homicide back to light, with the defense for an Ishpeming man accused of murder alleging the prosecution was withholding evidence.

Jacques Earl Carpenter, 52, has been charged with one count of open murder, a felony punishable by up to life in prison, in connection with the shooting death of 29-year-old David Scott Meyer Jr. that occurred June 8, 2012, inside a residence at 409 N. Second St. in Ishpeming, where both men were renting rooms.

Arguing before Judge Thomas Solka, Carpenter’s attorney, Karl Numinen, alleged there was “missing evidence” that included missing minutes from a June 8, 2012, video recording of eyewitness Justin Saari explaining to a Marquette County Sheriff’s Office deputy what happened inside the Ishpeming residence just moments before, police reports, a video from a grocery store showing Meyer entering the store the day of the incident and receipts from a drugstore and a hardware store for purchases made by Meyer that day.

Numinen also alleged Saari had received a plea deal from the Marquette County Prosecutor’s office on state methamphetamine charges, wherein the state agreed to drop two 20-year meth felonies in exchange for his testimony against Carpenter.

Numinen also requested the court pay for expert witnesses – one on crime scene investigation, one on digital recordings and one on forensics

Marquette County Prosecuting Attorney Matthew Wiese said the defense had everything the prosecution had, and that the missing time on the video recording was simply an error with the equipment.

Solka agreed with Wiese, after testimony from two sheriff’s deputies, saying there was “no willful editing” or “deletion” of the video by the sheriff’s office or the prosecutor’s office.

Solka issued an order Wednesday that calls for the sheriff’s office to make the original video available to the defense and prosecution.

Solka also ordered the prosecution to turn over to the defense any police reports it may have and also gave the defense $3,500 for two experts.

Solka did not allow for a digital recording expert, but said Numinen could have a crime scene specialist and a forensics expert.

Carpenter remains lodged in the Marquette County Jail without bond. A September trial date has been set.

Jackie Stark can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242.