Texas man pleads guilty in deaths of Kansas fair vendors

GREAT BEND, Kan. (AP) — A Texas man has pleaded guilty in the deaths of a couple who were killed at a Kansas fair after one suspect ordered the killings as part of a “carnival mafia” initiation.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s office said in a news release that 36-year-old Rusty Lee Frasier of Aransas Pass, Texas pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of first-degree premediated murder the 2018 deaths of Alfred “Sonny” Carpenter and Pauline Carpenter at the Barton County Fair, where they were vendors. The bodies of the Wichita couple were discovered in a national forest near Van Buren, Arkansas.

Prosecutors said 32-year-old Thomas Donald Drake of Van Buren, Arkansas, also pleaded guilty Monday to one count of obstructing apprehension.

Their sentencing has not been scheduled.

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Investigators say there is no “carnival mafia .”

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