UPDATE: Marion County man pleads guilty to murdering his wife

Published: Jan. 26, 2018 at 12:42 PM EST
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Donald Carpenter on Monday admitted to the January 2018 murder of his wife, Trina Carpenter, according to Marion County Prosecuting Attorney Jeffrey Freeman.

His sentencing is June 19. Several family members are scheduled to testify at Carpenter's sentencing, which Freeman said won't have much of an impact on the sentence itself.

As part of his plea agreement, Freeman said, Carpenter will be eligible for parole after 15 years. He said charge carries a mandatory life sentence.


The suspect in a murder last week has been released from the hospital and charged with first-degree murder.

50-year-old Donald Ray Carpenter allegedly murdered his wife, Trina Carpenter, in the Prickett's Fort area on January 19. The victim was found dead on Sawmill Road in her vehicle with several gunshot wounds. Spent .40 S&W round cartridges were discovered in the vehicle.

According to the criminal complaint, Carpenter was believed to be in his vehicle in the Bunner Ridge area on January 20. Officers found his vehicle, and discovered a box of the same brand of .40 S&W rounds on the passenger seat.

The complaint says that when an officer went to execute a search warrant on Carpenter's known residence on Prickett Creek Road, Carpenter's brother stated he had spoken with him and that Carpenter had said "I just shot my wife" and "I just snapped." His brother also stated that he had tried to keep Carpenter from driving away, and that Carpenter had a handgun between his legs in the vehicle.

Carpenter was found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound behind a residence on Prickett's Creek Road. He was taken to Ruby Memorial Hospital.

According to the criminal complaint, those who knew Trina Carpenter said she and Donald Carpenter had been having marital problems, and were in the midst of getting a divorce.

Carpenter was released from the hospital Friday and was arraigned in Monongalia County on first-degree murder charges.

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