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Jury Trial Underway In Orange Co. Murder Case
Updated June 21, 2017 6:44 AM
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(PAOLI) - John Robert Carpenter will face a jury of his peers this week in Orange County Circuit Court.

Jury selection began on Tuesday.

Carpenter, 38, of Marengo, is facing two counts of murder, attempted murder, robbery resulting in serious bodily injury and being a habitual offender. If found guilty Carpenter could be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Carpenter is being represented by Bedford Attorney Nick Herthel.

Carpenter is accused of killing 56-year-old Nicky Fields of Paoli and 25-year-old Corey Michael Harris, who were shot to death at Fields' home. He is also charged with shooting then 29-year-old Daniel Smitson in the mouth at Field's home on Sandy Hook Road in Paoli. The crimes happened on June 23, 2014.

Two other men were also charged with the crime.

James Davidson of Marengo has pleaded not guilty to the crimes. His jury trial is scheduled for August 8, 2017 at 8:30 a.m.

Elbert Brooks accepted a plea agreement. He was sentenced to 55 years in prison on one count of murder, 30 years for attempted murder and 15 years for robbery resulting in serious bodily injury. A second murder count was dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

The Crime

At 1:05 p.m. on June 23, 2014 a passer-by alerted police to a man lying near the roadway in front of a home in the 2200 block of Sandy Hook Road.

According to court documents, the day before he died, Fields expressed concern that Carpenter was out to hurt him. Those documents also indicate that what happened inside the mobile home was a robbery gone wrong.

Fields' body was found inside the home. Harris was found outside, as was Smitson. Both Fields and Harris suffered gunshot wounds to the head and died at the scene. Smitson was shot underneath his neck, the bullet went above his mouth and it came out his eye.

Smitson was able to tell police that three men in a red and gray Dodge truck came to the home and began shooting with a small-caliber handgun.

Police discovered a truck matching Smitson's description was registered to Carpenter.

Brooks admitted going to Field's home with Carpenter and Davidson to get meth and he stayed in the vehicle when Carpenter went into the home. Davidson stayed outside the residence.

Brooks told police he heard yelling and two gunshots from inside the home, and Carpenter and Davidson left the home, carrying a blanket with items inside it.

Brooks told police he saw a man walking toward the roadway, heard a gunshot and saw the man fall. All three men were arrested within days of the shooting.

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