Accused triple murderer makes court appearance in Jacksonville

Published: Sunday, January 11, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 11, 2004 at 2:56 a.m.
JACKSONVILLE - A carnival worker suspected of murdering two adults and a 16-year-old girl in northeast Florida made his first court appearance here after spending 18 months on the run.
Pinkney "Chip" Carter, 49, was charged with three counts of murder in the deaths of Elizabeth Smith Reed, 35; her 16-year-old daughter, Courtney Smith; and Glenn Carter Pafford, 49, in Reed's Arlington home. He was arrested this week in Kentucky and transferred to Florida.
County Judge Brent Shore ordered him to remain at the Duval County Jail without bail and appointed a public defender to represent him at Friday's hearing. An arraignment was set for Jan. 29.
Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda said he will ask a grand jury for first-degree murder indictments, the first step in seeking the death penalty, as soon as next week.
Carter fled to Mexico following the August 2002 homicides and swam across the Rio Grande to elude U.S. Border Patrol agents who spotted his pickup truck, police said.
He was jailed in Mexico for carrying weapons into the country then later released after paying authorities there $1,000. His companion told U.S. officials that Carter dropped the murder weapon, a .22-caliber gun, while crossing the river.
An arrest report released Friday says authorities recovered the gun and found that it was the murder weapon.
Carter was arrested Tuesday in Mayfield, Ky., where he had been working as a roofer. He was arrested on a public intoxication charge and a trooper recognized him as a fugitive. It was not clear how he returned to the United States.
State Attorney Harry Shorstein had told the Mexican government he wouldn't seek the death penalty if it helped capture Carter. But de la Rionda said that deal is off because Carter was caught without Mexican assistance.
--- Information from: The Florida Times-Union,

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