Carpenter murder trial begins today

MARQUETTE – More than a year after the fatal shooting of Ishpeming resident David Scott Meyer Jr., the man accused of pulling the trigger is standing trial.

The trial of Jacques Earl Carpenter, 53, began this morning with jury selection. The trial is scheduled to last four days.

Carpenter is charged with one count of open murder, a felony punishable by up to life in prison, in connection with the shooting death of Meyer, 29, that occurred June 8, 2012, inside a residence at 409 N. Second St. in Ishpeming, where both men were renting rooms.

Carpenter’s attorney, Karl Numinen of the Marquette law firm Pence and Numinen, has asserted his client acted in self-defense, only shooting Meyer after Meyer came at Carpenter with a large hunting knife.

Marquette County Prosecuting Attorney Matthew Wiese has alleged Carpenter shot Meyer in a drunken rage after the two had an argument.

The movement of Carpenter through the county court system stagnated after his original attorney, Kevin Branson of Marquette, and Wiese agreed in June 2012 that Carpenter’s competency to stand trial was a concern.

In February, Carpenter was found competent to stand trial by a state forensic psychologist.

Carpenter was also originally charged with unlawful imprisonment, a 15-year felony after police alleged he held another man, Justin Saari, at gunpoint.

That charge was later dropped, though Saari is a key witness for the prosecution, testifying during a district court hearing that Carpenter had asked for help in disposing of Meyer’s body.

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