Bond hearing called off; suspect uncooperative

  • Monday, October 1, 2012

An error in our report of September 24 on the arrest and bond hearing of James Randall Carpenter in connection with the death of Jasmine Marrone condensed the time period of events giving the impression that Marrone had communicated by text message with the Bentons that he was "hitting on her and creeping her out."
This text message was never sent to the Bentons by Marrone and they received no text messages from her that night.
The paper regrets the error and would like to apologize to the Bentons for any inconvenience this caused.

A bond hearing scheduled for homicide suspect James Randall Carpenter, 33, on Sept. 24 was called off after the suspect became combative and uncooperative, a Hill-Finklea Detention Center security employee told reporters.
The security officer said he and others had to take the suspect to the ground at the jail in Moncks Corner. The hearing was initially rescheduled for 8 a.m. Tuesday but was postponed indefinitely when the suspect continued to put up a fight. Carpenter, address unknown, was arrested on homicide charges after the strangulation of Jasmine Marrone, 21, of Nashville, who was found dead under blankets in the back seat of her own car Sunday morning in Summerville. According to a Summerville Police Department incident report, officers responded at about 7:30 a.m. Sunday to a call about a possibly intoxicated driver at the Circle K gas station located at North Main Street and Holiday Drive in Summerville. According to the report, officers found a vehicle matching the caller’s description and ordered the driver out of the vehicle. The driver, later identified as Carpenter, was described as acting very nervously and stating that he had done nothing wrong. He attempted to close the driver’s side door as he got out and was told to leave it open. The officers noticed blood on Carpenter’s clothing and asked why it was there. Carpenter told them he had been in a fight with his brother and that he was on his way to his mother’s funeral in James Island. He could not provide a driver’s license but did give the officers a passport. He also told them the car, a 1990 Nissan 240 SX, belonged to his brother’s girlfriend. They ran his information, discovered an active warrant against him out of Texas, and detained him in handcuffs. He became combative and defiant, trying to kick one officer and spitting at others. An officer then discovered Marrone’s body in the back seat covered with blankets. When asked who she was, Carpenter told officers “She hit me and I hit her back,” according to the report. The car was registered to Marrone, according to SPD officials. Five friends of the victim, all of James Island, attempted to attend the bond hearing. They said Marrone had lived on James Island with friends for a while but was planning to move back home to Nashville this week. Katrina Benton and her husband John Benton said Marrone was friends with their daughter and that Marrone had a bubbly personality and was a stranger to no one. “I saw her Saturday night,” Mrs. Benton said. “We saw them at quarter ‘til 7 [p.m.],” Mr. Benton said. “They both seemed happy. They were in her car. He was kind of standoffish, kind of shy.” “This is the first time I’ve stopped crying,” Mrs. Benton said. “Nobody knows how she met him,” Mr. Benton said. “Nobody saw him before.” “I want to see justice,” Mrs. Benton said. “This is uncalled for . . . She loved to skateboard, she loved the band HIM. She loved the beach. She was always happy.” “She was too friendly for something like this to happen to her,” Mr. Benton said. “He saw her kindness and generosity and I’m sure took advantage of that. I just hope he gets what he deserves.” Pam and John Norkett knew Marrone by her nickname “Jaz.” They said she lived with them for six months. Mrs. Norkett was wearing a t-shirt that read, “We love you Jaz,” with a heart shape on it. “She came to the house Saturday,” Mrs. Norkett said. “She cooked popcorn and had pizza with my 13-year-old daughter. My daughter called her a sister. Her Charleston family is suffering pretty bad. “It was so easy for her to trust people. We all are missing a member of our family. We know nothing about him. That he came by our house Saturday and had the audacity to shake John’s hand,” Mrs. Norkett said, shaking her head. “He was very quiet,” Mr. Norkett said. “He introduced himself and that was it. They just sat there in the car.” The Norketts said this was Marrone’s first car, which she was proud of. She also said she had been working hard for it. “This just doesn’t make sense,” Mrs. Norkett said. “I want him to look me in the face. I want him held accountable . . . My heart doesn’t understand why she’s not here anymore.” Morgan Anderson, a friend of Marrone’s, said they became friends two years ago when Marrone started talking to her in Marion Square. “He’s made a mistake he’s never going to come back from,” Anderson said of the suspect. Anderson said she believes Carpenter may have worked at a restaurant on James Island. The case is still under investigation. SPD investigators are asking that anyone who had contact with the two on Sept. 22 or Sept. 23, 2012 to please contact the Summerville Police Department at 851-4100.

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