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Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Beth Carpenter Murder-For-Hire Case

     When Kim Carpenter met Anson "Buzz" Clinton III in the summer of 1992, she was a 22-year-old divorcee living with her two-year-old daughter Rebecca in her parents' house in Ledyard, Connecticut. Buzz, a 26-year-old exotic dancer with a son who was three, had been divorced as well. Buzz and Kim got married that winter in Lyme, Connecticut at the Clinton family home. Buzz, having given up exotic dancing, had a job as a nurse's assistant in the a southeastern Connecticut convalescent home. Kim was three months pregnant with his baby.

     Before Kim and Buzz were married, Kim's parents, Richard and Cynthia Carpenter, had taken care of Kim's daughter Rebecca. They had become quite attached to their granddaughter and were concerned that Kim and her new husband, a man they did not consider worthy of their daughter, would not be suitable parents. Richard and Cynthia wanted Rebecca back under their roof.

     In November 1993, the Carpenters, alleging that Buzz was abusing their granddaughter, went to court to to gain legal custody of the little girl. Kim and Buzz denied the allegation and fought  to retain custody of Rebecca. The family court judge ruled against the Carpenters, denying them custody of their granddaughter. Kim had since given birth to Buzz's child, and was pregnant again. There was so much bad blood between Buzz and Kim's parents, he began making plans to move his family to Arizona. The Carpenters were sickened by the possibility that their beloved granddaughter might be taken out of their reach by a mother who couldn't  care for her and a man they believed was abusive. The grandparents felt helpless, and were on the verge of panic.

     On the morning of March 10, 1994, a motorist exiting the East Lyme off-ramp on I-95 saw the body of a man lying along the highway not far from an idling 1986 Pontiac Firebird. It was Buzz Clinton. He had been shot five times, then driven over by a vehicle as he lay dead on the road.

     Detectives with the Connecticut State Police learned that earlier that morning, someone had called Buzz about a tow truck he was selling.  Because investigators were unable to identify this caller, the case stalled. Whoever had murdered Buzz Clinton had not done it for his wallet, or anything else of value. Without a motive or a suspect, detectives quickly ran out of leads. In the meantime, Kim and Rebecca, and the two children fathered by Buzz Clinton, moved in with the Carpenters in Ledyard.

     On May 25, 1995, ten months after the murder, the Connecticut State Police received a call that shot life back into the investigation. The caller, who didn't identify herself, said that her ex-boyfriend and one of his associates had been involved in Buzz Clinton's murder. The anonymous caller named the principals, the tipster's ex-boyfriend, 40-year-old Joseph Fremut and and a biker dude from Deep River Connecticut named Mark Dupres. The caller didn't say why Buzz Clinton had been killed. Both suspects had criminal histories involving petty crimes and drug dealing. But neither man, as far as detectives could determine, had any direct link to Buzz Clinton.

     Detectives looking into Mark Dupres' background eventually found an indirect and rather thin connection between the biker and the murder victim. Dupres' lawyer, Haiman Clein, worked in the New London law firm that employed Kim's sister, Beth Carpenter. When questioned by detectives, Joseph Fremut, the tipster's ex-boyfriend, said that Mark Dupres had been the one who had murdered Buzz Clinton. Fremut said he had been involved in the planning phase of the homicide, but had not been with Dupres when the shooting took place. According to Fremut, Dupres' lawyer, Haiman Clein, had paid Dupres to do the job for another attorney who worked at the New London law firm.

     A few days after his initial interview, Mark Dupres confessed to detectives with the Connecticut State Police. He admitted being the person who had called Buzz Clinton to inquire about the tow truck he was selling. Accompanied by his 15-year-old son Chris, Dupres, on the morning of the murder, had driven to Buzz Clinton's house. From there, Dupres and his son, in their Oldsmobile Cutlass, followed Clinton to the place where he kept the vehicle for sale. As they were coming off exit 72 in East Lyme, Dupres blinked his lights signaling Clinton to pull over. As Clinton approached the driver's side of the Oldsmobile, Dupres got out of the vehicle to meet him. When he was between the two cars, Dupres pulled his revolver and shot Clinton five times.

     As Dupres pulled away from the murder scene, with his son Chris still in the vehicle, he drove over Clinton's body. Detectives asked the suspect why he would kill a man in front of his son. Dupres, who apparently didn't get the point of the question, shrugged his shoulders and said that the boy hadn't done anything wrong.

    Mark Dupres told the detectives he had killed Buzz Clinton on behalf of his attorney, Haiman Clein. In payment for the murder, the lawyer had given him $1,000 in upfront money. According to their agreement, Dupres would receive $4,000 after the hit. As it turned out, Clein only paid the hit man an additional $500.

     Detectives learned that Haiman Clein, who didn't know Buzz Clinton, was just the middleman. The 53-year-old attorney had allegedly arranged the murder for Beth Carpenter, a beautiful young attorney in the New London law firm. Carpenter was the murder victim's sister-in-law. Clein and the 30-year-old blonde were having an affair.

     Mark Dupres told detectives that he had met with Beth Carpenter in Clein's law office. On that occasion, the three of them discussed the murder plan in some detail. From Carpenter, Dupres acquired a photograph of the murder target, his work address, and the license number of his Pontiac Firebird. Beth Carpenter said that she wanted Buzz Clinton dead because he had been abusing her niece Rebecca. The young lawyer said her parents had tried but failed to gain legal custody of the little girl. That's when Beth, without her parents' knowledge, began planning Clinton's murder. It was all about Rebecca. Shortly before Dupres murdered Buzz Clinton, Beth Carpenter moved to London, England.

     Charged with capital murder and conspiracy to commit murder, Joseph Fremut and Mark Dupres, pursuant to plea agreements, promised to testify against Attorney Haiman Clein and Beth Carpenter. In Dupres' case, the prosecutor, under the agreement, would recommend a prison sentence that didn't exceed 45 years. The triggerman's son Chris, having been granted immunity from prosecution, also agreed to testify against the two lawyers.

     Haiman Clein avoided arrest by fleeing the state. Beth Carpenter told FBI agents stationed in London that Mr. Clein had been the mastermind behind the contract murder. Claiming total innocence, Beth denied prior knowledge of the murder. She agreed to help the FBI find the missing Clein who every so often called her from a public telephone. In February 1996, FBI agents arrested Clein as he stood by a telephone booth in Long Beach, California. He had been awaiting a call from Beth Carpenter.

     Following his arrest, Clein insisted that he was innocent. But sixteen months later, he accepted a plea bargain arrangement similar to the one given his former client and friend, triggerman Mark Dupres. Betrayed by Beth Carpenter, he identified her as the mastermind and himself nothing more than a middle-man in the deadly scheme. This gave the prosecutor enough evidence to charge Beth Carpenter, on August 26, 1997, with capital murder and conspiracy to commit murder. No longer living in England, she had moved to Dublin where she was living under her own name. In November 1997, the Irish police took her into custody.

     Claiming that she had been framed by Haiman Clein who sought revenge because she had ratted him out to the FBI, Carpenter fought extradition to the United States. Because the prosecutor in Connecticut sought the death penalty, the authorities in Ireland, pursuant to a policy that forbade extraditing foreign fugitives who could be executed in their home countries, refused to send her back. The following year, as Carpenter sat in an Irish jail, Dupres and Clein pleaded guilty. They were each sentenced to 45 years in prison.

     In June 1999, after the Connecticut prosecutor promised not to seek the death penalty in the case, the Irish authorities sent Beth Carpenter back to the U. S. to face charges that she had orchestrated the murder of Buzz Clinton. Because she had already spent 19 months behind bars, the judge in Connecticut released her on $150,000 bail. The defendant was allowed her to await her trial under house arrest in her parents' home.

     The televised murder trial (Court TV) began in February 2001, eight years after Mark Dupres pumped five bullets into Buzz Clinton as he walked toward the killer's car parked alongside the I-95 off-ramp. Appearing for the prosecution, the victim's mother, Dee Clinton, described how the defendant's parents had fought to wrest custody of Rebecca from her son and his wife Kim. The custody battle had created bad blood between her son and the Carpenter family. This provided the motive for the murder-for-hire killing.

     The hit man's son, Chris Dupres, testified that until the shooting took place, he had no idea what his father had planned to do. As they left the murder scene that morning, the car rolled over the victim's body. Ten minutes after the killing, his father smashed the murder weapon with a hammer and tossed the pieces into the woods.

     Haiman Clein, now 61-years-old and disbarred, took the stand on March 8, 2002. In December 1993, shortly after the Carpenters lost their custody battle for Rebecca, the defendant told Clein that as long as Buzz Clinton was alive, Rebecca was in danger and beyond the reach of her protection. Eventually Beth came right out and asked if Clein would arrange to have someone kill the source of the problem. At first Clein wasn't sure she was serious, but when Beth kept bringing up the subject, he realized that she really wanted Buzz Clinton dead.

     According to Clein's testimony, in late January 1994, he brought Beth, his colleague and lover, and Mark Dupres, his client and friend, together in his office to discuss the murder. A month before Dupres was to perform the hit, he got cold feet and called off the murder. A couple of weeks after that, the contract killing was back on his schedule after Beth came to him in tears claiming that Buzz Clinton had just locked Rebecca in the basement and burned her with a cigarette.

     At four in the morning on March 11, 1993, less than twenty-four hours after the murder, Beth Carpenter called Haiman Clein and said she was worried sick and had to see him. In bed with his wife, Clein got dressed and drove to Norwich to calm his anxious mistress. When he got to her apartment, she refused to discuss the murder because she was afraid the FBI had bugged the place.

     Haiman Clein testified that when Mark Dupres told him he had taken his son along on the hit, the attorney was furious. How stupid could you get? If the kid talked, they'd all end up in prison. Now Clein had something to worry about.

     Mark Dupres, the prosecution's most important witness, took the stand and implicated himself, Clein, and the defendant. Following the hit man's testimony, the state rested its case. As murder-for-trials go, the prosecution had presented a solid case, one that would require a strong defense. To provide that defense, Beth Carpenter's attorneys put their best witness on the stand, the defendant herself.

     Beth Carpenter testified that when Haiman Clein found out about Buzz Clinton and what he was doing to Rebecca, he arranged the hit on his own volition to solve the problem for Beth and her niece. After she found out what he had done on her behalf, she didn't turn him in because, "I needed to be with him. I wasn't a whole person." Shocked by what he had done, she said to him, "Only someone who is crazy would do something like this." To that Clein had allegedly replied, "Don't you see? You don't have anything to worry about anymore."

     On April 12, 2002, the jury found Beth Carpenter guilty as charged. The defendant and her attorneys, thinking that Clein and Dupres had not been believable witnesses, were stunned by the verdict. Four months later, the judge complied with the terms of the Irish extradition agreement by sentencing Beth Carpenter to life in prison without parole.

     

21 comments:

  1. I just watched this on Mugshots and it said Beth was appealing her conviction, that it wouldn't be approved or denied until 2004. Do you know what the outcome to this was?

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    1. I was wondering the same thing.

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    2. Beth's appeal was denied and she should be spending the rest of her life in prison.

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    3. She will continue to fight

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    4. Thank you Brenda!!! Anonymous, you have no idea what your talking about

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  2. Good. I just don't understand why the carpenter ffamily just couldn't leave Kim and buzz alone. Especially after she had 2 kids withat him and I don't think they were doing anything wrong. Just crazy.

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  3. Ya crazy story here in CT. I imagine alot of ppl just seem the new show about this case on ID. Was a pretty good show and from what I remember it was very accurate.

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  4. This whole story is just sad. I know the Carpenters genuinley cared for their granddaughter/niece and were concerned (with good reason) about Kim & her new boyfriend taking full custody. In my opinion, they should have fought for temporary custody, asking the court to have Kim and Buzz prove themselves to be fit parents by taking classes, counseling, etc, and slowly entering into the child's life- to make the situation easy for all involved. Maybe that way the adults could have eventually gained an ammicable relationship, and not fight- which would have been best for the child and all involved. Kim & Buzz should have asked for the same too. Instead of just wanting to "win" and yank the child away from the Grandparents and Aunt that had mostly cared for her her whole life. And the Carpenters should have realized that every child needs the chance to be with their parents, and as much as they wanted to continue to raise her, they should have only asked for temporary custody, with the stipulations that Kim and Buzz go through the proper steps of proving themselves fit under court ordered counseling and such. Making it a gradual process for the child. From the info that I got regarding the murder and what led up to it... yes, it does seem to me that it is very likely that Beth may have indeed plotted the murder- but I did not see that that was proven beyond a reasonable doubt. I do not think that they should have found her guilty one bit. Yes, she most likely was- but the law was not followed in my opinion, because there WAS NO PROOF that she asked, planned, or funded the murder. Mr. Clein , however, admitted he hired the hit man and payed the hit man. Mr. Clien's own Psychologist also testified he was a habitual liar and would not believe anything that came out of his mouth. He also testified he was in love with Beth, and love, mixed with craxy, and coccaine, makes for very bad decisions. This is just my opinion. I'm not saying Beth was innocent- I'm just saying she should have not been found guilty and given a life sentence without the possibility of parole because h her role in the murder was not proven beyond a reasonable doubt. It looks to me as if the jury followed their hearts and not the law. I SAY LET BETH OUT OF PRISON. If she was indeed the one who ordered the murder, and didn't really find out afterwards lije she said, then the good lord above will deal with her when her time comes. FREE BETH!!

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    1. Your an idiot, she was tried and convicted.......

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    2. Beth is a sick and evil individual; sick because of her obsession with a child that wasn't hers and evil because she was so used to getting her own way, she AND her horrible family thought it was up to them to decide who lives and dies. She should have given birth to those twins she aborted if she was so hell bent on being someone's mother. I feel bad for Buzz that he ever got involved with this lying, cheating, murdering family from hell. They should all be put in jail--just a bunch of hateful lowlife white trash.

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  5. You sound like an idiot. Don't you know? Kim and Buzz did take parenting classes and counseling. This was all on the ID channel documentary. Beth and her parent were all @$$holes. Buzz was murdered, parents had their son killed just because he wanted to be a father to this little girl. Beth deserves what she got if not more and I wouldn't doubt if her parents were in on it. The documentary had a statement that after 15 years Rebecca reconnected with Buzz's parents, the Clinton who still think of her as their granddaughter. I guess she knows the whole truth now. May Beth and her parent go to hell.

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    1. Your a jerk!!!!!

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    2. I agree I hope his parents sued the Carpenters for everything they have.

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  6. The whole Anderson family are f'd up. The parents and both daughters. I'm watching this garbage on ID tonight. And to the former Clein office manager who paints him in a sympathetic, nice, caring light.....you are a moron

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  7. I have been thinking about Beth recently. As I often do. I was the only contact person that Beth had her first two years in prison. I spoke to her several times each day....just remember, life and it's events aren't always as they appear. I hope noone ever kills my ex-husband.....many people have heard me say "I wish he were dead".

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  8. Throw away the key on beth carpenter She is a perfect example of a typical spoiled north American woman--a lawyer on top of it she is the type of woman who would never give the average guy a chance I love the fact she is getting obese in prison--she will never have sex with another man --shes having a hard time in prison according to her lawyer--willful selfish women are humbled by Gods Laws Don't marry women in Ct Beth Carpenter is a very typical example of the women who live in Ct Look at all the women in the USA now in prison or under investigation for having sex with schoolboys. Would you marry that?? UGH!!!

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    1. Don't marry people from Connecticut? That's a ridiculous statement.... Very ignorant

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  9. The Carpenter family are arrogant jerks. Totally treated Kim like dirt. They had queen Beth to worship. The mother Cindy is a harpy who got the whole thing rolling. I feel sorry for Buzz and Kim. lives ruined by people who would do anything to get what they wanted. Betray Kim and cause an innocent man his life.

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  10. Needless death, soo sad. I think Beth is evil. She doesn't care about the lives she has destroyed, she was so willing to set up her lover and give him away to save her neck! Serves her right. Should have received the death penalty

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