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Two men indicted in the torturous rape-murder of 13-year-old Jesse
Dirkhising last fall have requested a change of venue from Benton
County, Arkansas, because of the publicity the case has received
Attorneys for Davis Don Carpenter Jr., 38, and Joshua Brown, 22,
placed the request before Benton County Judge Circuit Judge David
Clinger Jan. 12. It is one of several motions pending in advance of the
capital murder and rape trial of the two men.
Carpenter and Brown, both homosexuals, are charged with drugging,
binding and gagging
who was then repeatedly raped and sodomized at their Rogers, Ark.
apartment Sept. 26, 1999. A coroner said the boy suffocated because of
the position in which he was placed.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against both Brown and
The case generated national attention after WorldNetDaily editor
Joseph Farah first reported it nationally last October.
Farah made the case that other national news media opted to neglect the
story because it involved a politically incorrect theme — a heinous
crime involving the rape and murder of a teenage boy by two homosexuals.
“Jesse Dirkhising was brutally raped, tortured and murdered — for
fun, for thrills, for the hell of it, because it felt good, maybe even
because a certain politically protected lifestyle has been elevated to
virtual sainthood,” Farah said.
“I don’t expect to hear Bill Clinton or Janet Reno weigh in on this
one,” he said, as was the case when college student Matthew Shepard was
killed in Wyoming last year because he was a homosexual.
“Remember how the nation stood riveted to the details of a hideous
murder that took place in Wyoming when a homosexual was tortured to
death? Even the sentencing of the killers received a massive amount of
media attention recently,” Farah said. “But there was no hand wringing
for young Jesse Dirkhising.”
eventually caught the eye
of E. R. Shipp, ombudsman for the Washington Post. In a Nov. 14, 1999
editorial, Shipp defended the paper’s lack of extended coverage of the
Dirkhising murder because the Post’s “policy is not to cover murders
from out of the Washington area at all unless it’s a case of mass murder
or has caused a large local sensation or has raised a larger social
“The Shepard story was news,” Shipp said, “because it prompted debate
on hate crimes and the degree to which there is still intolerance of gay
people in this country. It was much more than a murder story for us.”
In other recent motions, defense attorneys are asking the court to
rule that statements made by Carpenter to police be kept out of the
trial, and that a decision calling for police searches in the case was
improper. Clinger also is expected to hear arguments on whether
prosecutors should have access to Carpenter’s military records and on
how to pay for a psychiatric evaluation of Carpenter.
At a December hearing, prosecutors had made a request for a court
order for the release of Carpenter’s military records, saying they were
needed for the state “to meet all possible defenses long before raised.”
But Carpenter defense attorney Tim Buckley said the prosecution
requests were “disingenuous at best” and had failed to demonstrate any
relevance the records may have. Buckley also said he does not plan to
use the military records in Carpenter’s defense, though the prosecution
has asserted that he would.
No details were released regarding the contents of Carpenter’s
military service, and no decision had been made on the change of venue
request by press time.
Read Joseph Farah’s column:
Read Jerry Falwell’s column: