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    Jury: Woman's killer should die

    By WILLIAM R. LEVESQUE, Times Staff Writer
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published March 13, 2003

    LARGO -- A jury deliberated for a half-hour Wednesday before recommending to a judge that David Charles Carpenter be executed for strangling a Dunedin woman in 1994.

    The Pinellas-Pasco jury convicted Carpenter last week of first-degree murder for raping and killing 63-year-old Ann Powell. Judge Dee Anna Farnell will sentence Carpenter later this year and is required to give the jury recommendation great weight.

    The jury voted 7-5 to recommend death.

    The next hearing on the case is May 12, though Farnell won't sentence Carpenter then. Carpenter faces either life in prison without parole for 25 years or death.

    Carpenter, now 40, met Powell at a coin laundry and invited her to his home Nov. 23, 1994, promising her dinner and dancing. He also invited Neilan Pailing, a 20-year-old neighbor.

    Prosecutors said Powell was raped, beaten and strangled. Pailing put the body in the trunk of Powell's car and drove it to the Pinellas Trail.

    Pailing pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in 1996 and received a sentence of 25 years.

    Carpenter was convicted of murder and sentenced to death in 1997. But the Florida Supreme Court reversed his conviction in 2001 and ordered a new trial.

    The court said jurors should have been allowed to hear from jail informers who might have helped Carpenter shift blame for the killing to Pailing.

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