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A Benton County, Arkansas, judge has refused to grant bail to a prime
suspect in the murder case of a 13-year-old boy who died last fall after
being repeatedly sodomized by two men.
Circuit Court Judge David Clinger denied 38-year-old Davis Don
Carpenter’s request that he set bond for him May 24, though Carpenter’s
attorney argued that 13-year-old Jesse Dirkhising’s Sept. 26 death was
“It’s quite clear, I think I can say indisputably on Mr. Carpenter’s
part, that the killing was unintentional,” said defense attorney Ken
McClemore in arguing for a bond. He said his client told police that he
and his homosexual live-in and co-defendant in the case, 22-year-old
Joshua McCabe Brown, had been tying each other up all weekend before
Dirkhising’s death, according to police testimony last week.
Arguing that Carpenter has no prior criminal record, McClemore told
Clinger that his client also had close ties with relatives in the area,
was no flight risk, and would show up for court appearances. By legal
standards, McClemore argued, he should be granted bond.
“He’s spent 8 1/2 months in a 8-by-10-foot jail cell, and he’s about
to go stir crazy,” Fayetteville attorney Tim Buckley, another lawyer for
Prosecuting Attorney Robin Green of Benton County pointed out through
cross-examination that Carpenter had lived in three states in three
years and has traveled extensively, sometimes without telling his family
Also, she argued, Rogers police said in an arrest affidavit that they
had seized more than 100 items from the apartment, including sedative
pills and notes they allege Carpenter wrote to Brown instructing him how
to bind and sedate a child. In addition, she said the case was made
stronger by Clinger’s March ruling, which allowed searches police made
of Carpenter’s apartment and statements Carpenter gave officers to be
used as evidence against him.
Citing the likelihood that he’ll be convicted, however, Clinger
refused the bond request and ordered Carpenter to remain in jail until
his trial. Clinger did say he’d consider a defense request to move
Carpenter out of isolation and place him in the Benton County jail’s
Both men have been charged with capital murder and six counts of
rape. They are charged with drugging, binding and gagging Dirkhising,
who was then repeatedly raped and sodomized at their Rogers, Ark.,
apartment. A coroner said the boy suffocated because of the position in
which he was placed; he died after being bound with duct tape and gagged
with his own underwear.
The boy’s grandmother told police last year he had been visiting the
men on weekends to work at a hair salon where Carpenter worked.
Meanwhile, Brown’s case is on hold pending the results of a
psychological exam. Though authorities initially planned to try both men
together, officials said they became “antagonistic toward one another,”
prompting the decision for separate trials, as their accounts of what
Brown is currently being held at a state mental hospital in Little
Rock. He has completed a psychological exam, but his case has been
suspended until doctors review his past counseling records. Louis Lim,
deputy public defender representing Brown, said in March he may pursue
an insanity defense for his client.
A July 17 trial date has been set for Carpenter.
The case generated wide attention after WorldNetDaily editor Joseph
Farah first reported it nationally last October. Farah made the case
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. The Associated Press subsequently acknowledged that it had erred in spiking the story.