AIRPORT COURTHOUSE — A former fugitive who was captured in Jamaica last week in connection with the shooting death of a German tourist in Santa Monica pleaded not guilty to murder and attempted robbery charges on Wednesday.
Paul Edmond Carpenter, 31, was arraigned at the Airport Courthouse one week after his arrest at a BMW dealership in Kingston where he apparently worked as a driver under the name Jermaine Thomas.
He was the last remaining suspect in the 1998 shooting death of Horst Fietze, who was visiting Santa Monica when he was allegedly approached by Carpenter, his girlfriend and two individuals attempting to rob the tourist, who himself was hanging out with a group of friends near the Lowes Santa Monica Beach Hotel.
Fietze was shot when he had trouble understanding the robbers, who fled empty handed.
While three of the suspects have since been convicted, Carpenter had managed to elude authorities for more than 10 years, possibly traveling within the United States before leaving the country.
Lamont Dion Santos, the gunman, was sentenced to 35 years to life in prison and Roshana Latiesha Roberts, who was the getaway driver, was sentenced to 13 years and four months in prison. Tyrina Lakeisha Griffin, also an accomplice, was sentenced to 16 years to life.
The Jamaican Constabulary Force detained Carpenter as he was on his way to work after the FBI received a tip about his whereabouts. Investigators had long ago concluded that Carpenter had fled the country. The FBI in 2007 announced a $20,000 award for information leading to the suspect’s capture.
Carpenter, who is being held with no bail, is due back in court on March 24 for an early disposition report.