October trial set in mom charged in son's death


SAN LUIS — Carol Carpenter, 70, Blanca, has been scheduled for a 10-day jury trial on a first-degree murder charges relating to the death of her son, Corey.

Motions will be heard Sept. 27.

She has been free on a $50,000 appearance bond and has complied with all court requests. The jury trial will begin at 8 a.m. Oct. 3 and is expected to last until Oct. 13 in Costilla County District Court,

Described as “fiercely independent,” Carol was living with her son, Corey, 27, in a small trailer on the side of Mt. Blanca when the young man died.

A tiny woman, under five feet tall, she had opted to take care of her son herself, despite some efforts to help.

Corey was found motionless on the floor of the Carpenter residence on Oct. 23, 2015. He seemed to be malnourished, with his eyes sunk into his head. “He was gray in color; his skin was like plastic,” said deputies who responded to a 9-1-1 call that day.

Carol reportedly told him Corey had “been down” a couple of days.

Corey had basically lost interest in life after his father died and had given himself a nickname, Tom, and became upset when he was called “Corey.” His father, Wallace “Buck” Carpenter, died March 10, 2012.

Corey as a loner was a trend in most of the prosecution and defense testimony, though it was noted he had been in public school and thrived there as much as he could. The El Paso County Coroner’s Office, which usually conducts autopsies for coroners in the San Luis Valley, first ruled that the cause of death was malnutrition, but Colorado Bureau of Investigation agents worked with the coroner and, testified that, after showing a photo from Corey’s 2008 driver’s license alongside one when he was on the autopsy table, the manner of death was re-determined to be homicide.

Medical and genetic testing showed Corey had “fragile X” syndrome and some of Corey’s changes could be connected with his father dying, but some persons with the syndrome may be normal at an early age, and then gradually change. A physician who examined him said she saw an array of symptoms that something was wrong, there was “some spectrum of autism and some anxiety.’

When healthy, he weighed145 pounds. He was short, not much taller than his diminutive mother, but began to lose weight when he chose only to eat favorite foods. Carol Carpenter told investigators the weight loss wasn’t rapid and graphic, but he lost a lot of weight.

Carol told the CBI that it was very difficult for her to get Corey to eat, but when she found foods he liked, she would stock up and use them in an effort to get Corey to eat other foods, as well. Around the time of his death he was drinking vitamin water and taking vitamins.

Carol waived her Miranda Rights and agreed to provide a statement, a conversation that was at least 10 hours long.

She had been considering placing Corey in a facility but needed a referral. Carol was concerned, however, about how Corey would act regarding a visitor to the home. He could become very combative.

Carol explained that she wouldn’t call an ambulance for Corey because the last he saw of his father was when he was being loaded into an ambulance, and she feared Corey would act out and become combative. Carol believed the hospital caused the death of her husband.