Paul Edmond Carpenter, the man charged in the 1998 Santa Monica shooting death of a German tourist during a botched robbery near a beachfront hotel is scheduled for a pretrial hearing this morning.
Carpenter is facing charges of murdering Horst Fietze, the tourist who had been visiting California from Germany with a group of friends. Today’s pretrial hearing will be held at the LAX branch courthouse.
According to Santa Monica police at the time, Carpenter, his girlfriend, and two others attempted to rob a group of German tourists with whom Fietze had been traveling with in Santa Monica on Oct. 12, 1998. During the robbery, Fietze was shot to death.
Based on an investigation by detectives with the Santa Monica Police Department at the time, Carpenter’s girlfriend and two friends were arrested and convicted for the crime.
However, an outstanding warrant remained for Carpenter’s arrest. On Feb. 9, 1999, Carpenter was charged with murder and attempted robbery by the Los Angeles District Attorney in Municipal Court of Santa Monica.
The FBI obtained a federal arrest warrant on February 12, 1999 when detectives with Santa Monica PD determined that Carpenter had fled the state of California. The warrant, filed in United States District Court, Central District of California, was obtained after Carpenter was charged federally with Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution. After the murder, investigators believe Carpenter traveled within the U.S., possibly by bus, before fleeing abroad.
In 2009, the FBI received information that led to Carpenter’s location in Jamaica, where he had been employed for several years. Carpenter, a U.S. citizen, had been living there using false identification, and was deported to the U.S. by Jamaican authorities.
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