Courier staff writer
ALAMOSA — Pre-trial publicity in the case of a man charged with second-degree murder will be limited, after an Alamosa County Court judge approved the defense’s motion for a gag order.
Judge Daniel Walzl announced his decision during Gregory Scott Carpenter’s first formal appearance in county court on Thursday.
The 50-year-old man stands accused of killing Jose Luis Fernandez during an April 8 incident at the Wagon Wheel Trailer Park.
According to an original statement in support of a warrantless arrest, Carpenter allegedly told authorities that he shot and killed the 36-year-old Fernandez.
He initially told an Alamosa County Sheriff’s corporal that Fernandez was beating a woman in front of the trailer next door, and added that he believed the victim was going to kill her.
Carpenter’s wife reported that her husband told Fernandez to leave the shrieking woman alone. But soon after they returned to their trailer, the woman began to scream even louder, she said.
At that point, Carpenter said he retrieved his pistol for protection, since he didn’t want the man coming on to his property.
When he stepped outside a few moments later, Carpenter noticed that the man had pinned the woman against his family’s trailer, he said.
Carpenter allegedly cocked his gun, pointed it at the man, and told him to stop.
His wife, meanwhile, said she heard her husband open the front door and yell: “get off of her.”
By the time she reached the door, Carpenter’s wife saw the man with his hands around the woman’s neck. She told the sheriff’s office that the man looked directly at Carpenter and told him to shoot.
Once again, her husband told the man to get off the woman, she said.
In response, the man stood up and began to walk toward Carpenter, she said, daring him to shoot.
However, she missed whatever happened next: She moved away from the front door in order to care for her daughter.
Soon afterward, she heard a gunshot.
The next time that she saw the man, he was stumbling around outside the trailer, holding his hands to his chest.
As he fell to the ground, Carpenter’s wife heard the man say: “He shot me,” she said.
Authorities placed Carpenter into custody soon after the sheriff’s office arrived at the scene.
However, he appeared out of custody on Thursday alongside his friends and family members and his attorney Gordon Bosa; Fernandez’s loved ones gathered on the opposite side of the courtroom.
Carpenter’s next appearance in county court is set for May 31 or June 17, depending on which date works best for the judge.