LOS ANGELES — A South Los Angeles man who went on the run for a decade was sentenced to 32 years to life in prison Thursday for a botched robbery that killed a German tourist.
Paul Carpenter, 35, was sentenced for his role in the October 1998 killing of Horst Fietz near a Santa Monica hotel. Fietz, 50, a building supervisor from Lobau, Germany, was shot when he refused to hand over his wife’s handbag to three robbers who fled without taking anything.
A hotel security camera recorded the crime and police matched fingerprints found in the getaway car to two suspects who were arrested two months later. A third suspect was arrested in January 1999.
Carpenter, however, took off and remained a fugitive for nearly a decade. In 2007 the FBI sought public help in solving the cold case, noting that he used 11 aliases and four birth dates, may have traveled to San Diego and South Carolina and could be living abroad.
He was working at a BMW dealership in Kingston, Jamaica, under an assumed name when he was arrested in 2009 following a tip to the FBI.
In 2011, Carpenter was convicted of first-degree murder with a special circumstance that the killing occurred during a robbery. He also was found guilty of three counts of attempted second-degree robbery with a special circumstance that he had a gun.
He was sentenced to a total of 32 years to life in state prison but will have a chance for parole, Los Angeles County district attorney’s spokeswoman Jane Robison said.
Carpenter made no statement in court during his sentencing, she said.
Three other defendants were convicted in 2001 for their roles in the holdup. The gunman, Lamont Dion Santos, was sentenced to 35 years to life in prison with a chance of parole. The getaway driver, Roshana Latiesha Roberts, was sentenced to more than 13 years. An accomplice, Tyrina Lakeisha Griffin, was sentenced to 16 years to life in prison.