06/24/2024

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Katelyn Markham, top inset, and John Carter, bottom inset, and in court. (Mug shot from Butler County Jail; victim's photo from Facebook: In Memory of Katelyn Markham; courtroom screenshot from WXIX/YouTube)

‘Hardly feels like justice’: Man who just last week said he had an alibi for his fiancee’s death now admits he killed her

Katelyn Markham, top inset, and John Carter, bottom inset, and in court. (Mug shot from Butler County Jail; victim’s photo from Facebook: In Memory of Katelyn Markham; courtroom screenshot from WXIX/YouTube)

A man who just last week offered an alibi in the killing of his young Ohio bride-to-be a dozen years ago has pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter.

John Carter, 35, entered his plea on Friday in the death of his fiancee Katelyn Markham, 21. He faces up to 36 months in prison when he is set to be sentenced on July 18.

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    The victim’s father, Dave Markham, was disappointed.

    “I have so much to say,” he said, the Journal-News reported. “Hardly feels like justice for Katelyn. But I understand and support the Butler County prosecutors.”

    Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser reacted, saying, “This brings absolute undeniable finality to the question of who is responsible and accountable for the disappearance and death of Katelyn Markham,” the newspaper reported.

    Jessica Schmidt, an anchor and reporter for local Fox affiliate WXIX, posted updates from the hearing on X. In one video clip, Carter walks down a flight of stairs as he leaves the courtroom, sobbing as a woman in his group walks behind him and puts her hand on his shoulder. He’s free on $1 million bond until his sentencing hearing.

    John Carter is heard sobbing as he leaves the courtroom and walks down the stairs after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter @FOX19 pic.twitter.com/IZYV4ghf7k

    — Jessica Schmidt (@JSchmidtTV) June 7, 2024

    As Law&Crime reported, the news comes after Carter’s defense announced plans to offer evidence that he “was not at the scene of the alleged crime at the time of the alleged offense,” according to the Notice of Alibi.

    The two-sentence notice says he was there from the late hours of Aug. 13, 2011, to the early morning hours of Aug. 14, 2011, when Markham was killed.

    Carter called 911 on Aug. 14, 2011, reporting Markham missing. He claimed he had last seen her at her home the evening before midnight. When he went to her house, her keys and purse were still there, but her cellphone was missing, he told investigators, according to court documents.

    For months following her disappearance, hundreds of volunteers, some from other states, tried to find her. More than a year passed with no sign of Markham. In April 2013, a man looking for scrap metal to sell in a wooded area in Indiana found a skull in a plastic bag and called 911. Other skeletal remains were found in the same location, about 30 miles from Markham’s home.

    Using dental records, a pathologist identified Markham’s decomposed remains and found her death was a homicide. A cause of death has not been determined.

    On March 22, 2023, police took Carter into custody. Carter initially agreed to speak with detectives but changed his mind and asked for an attorney. He pleaded not guilty and posted a $1 million bond.

    Meanwhile, details about the long-ago case and the allegations against Carter have surfaced. WXIX reported Gmoser saying investigators found an undated typed poem in Carter’s mother’s home, reading, in part, “Deep down I love her. You want to kill her. But I love her. She must die. I can’t kill her. Yes you can. No. Yes.” The prosecutor said it suggests the “conflict and demon within” Carter.

    An affidavit and search warrant also list more than 125 points to establish probable cause that prosecutors said showed Carter was involved in Markham’s murder.

    It begins by stating plastic landscaping or construction material was found wrapped around Markham’s remains when they were found and that investigators believed they would find a roll of that plastic at Carter’s mother’s home.

    The affidavit states Carter gave different stories about what happened the night of Aug. 13, 2011. Police also noted they observed Carter had red scratches on Aug. 14 when detectives interviewed him — he claimed he cut himself with an electric razor.

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    The affidavit states that Carter described Markham as “huffy” and “upset” the night of Aug. 13. It also claims Carter admitted to deleting text messages between him and Markham between 7:53 and 11:36 that night.

    The affidavit claims Carter showed signs of deception during two polygraph tests when asked about Katelyn Markham’s disappearance. One was conducted in 2011, and a second in 2014.

    The affidavit also quotes a woman who said Markham confided in her that she felt “trapped” in her relationship with Carter and was unhappy with his lifestyle, which allegedly included heavy drug use and viewing of pornography.

    Markham, the woman recalled to investigators, was no longer sexually attracted to Carter and felt uncomfortable with some sex acts he wanted her to engage in. This conversation allegedly took place three to six months before Markham disappeared. The woman said Markham told her that Carter was possessive and jealous and became upset when she spoke to other men.

    Markham’s family plans a tribute and victim impact letter-writing event on Saturday.

    Law&Crime’s Angenette Levy contributed to this report.

     

     

     

     

    The post ‘Hardly feels like justice’: Man who just last week said he had an alibi for his fiancee’s death now admits he killed her first appeared on Law & Crime.