SAN LUIS — A 10-day trial set to begin last week for Carol Carpenter, 70, Blanca, was on the docket until the defense entered a motion to pause the trial until another expert could be retained.
Jury selection was supposed to begin Tuesday for Carpenter, who is accused of deliberately starving her 27-year-old disabled son, Corey, to death sometime before the Costilla County Sheriff received a 9-1-1 call on Oct. 23, 2015.
Another pre-trial conference is set for 2 p.m. Oct. 25 and the docket for Costilla District Court shows a trial beginning Jan. 29, 2018 and lasting until Feb. 9, 2018.
Carpenter has contended that her son died because he became increasingly picky about his food and would only eat certain favorite things, eventually consuming only vitamin water and vitamin pills.
She is free on a $50,000 appearance bond after binding her over for trial and must make every court appointment or be arrested and held without bond. Her friends and children promised to ensure she complied.
Described as “fiercely independent,” Carol was living with Corey in a small trailer on the side of Mt. Blanca when the young man died of malnutrition.
Corey became combative when bathed, given food he didn’t want or when someone he didn’t know came to his home. Medical and genetic testing showed he had “fragile X” syndrome and when he became agitated, he would start flapping his hands and screaming.
His status 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.
Carol told investigators Corey’s weight loss began after he was taken out of school, where he was given Dr. Pepper to drink.
At home, Corey wanted instant breakfast and Carol supplied it to him, but decided he needed to eat solid food, something he refused to do.
Carol told investigators 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 efforts to get him to eat other foods, as well. Around the time of his death, she said, Corey was drinking vitamin water and taking vitamins. He did not know how to prepare his own food and was so malnourished that his bones showed through his skin.
Justice isn’t swift in this case, but it will be thorough.