John Carter murder trial less than 3 months away: What to know

Man is accused of killing his fiancée, Fairfield’s Katelyn Markham, in 2011.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Less than three months from jury selection for the trial of a man accused of killing his fiancée in 2011, prosecutors have issued 64 nameless subpoenas and eight rounds discovery while the defense remains silent.

John Carter is accused of killing Fairfield’s Katelyn Markham, his fiancée. A Butler County grand jury indicted Carter in March 2023 on a single count of murder following a months-long by investigators from the county prosecutor’s office.

He is free after posting a $1 million bond, and the four-week trial is scheduled to begin June 24 in Butler County Common Pleas Judge Dan Haughey’s courtroom.

Last week, a new supplemental evidence list filed by Assistant Butler County Prosecutor Brad Burress listed an Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation evidence submission sheet, a lab report and report for Markham’s Macbook. Photographs of Carter’s fingerprints and a subpoena with response for a cell phone for a person identified as “N.A.” are also included on the latest round of discovery.

As of Monday, 64 subpoenas for witnesses have been filed by the prosecution. No names were listed, and all were issued in care of Butler County Prosecutor’s Office investigator Paul Newton.

Last month, Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser, who is trying the case personally along with Burress and Assistant Prosecutor Katie Pridmore, said it is unusual not to name witnesses with subpoena filings, but that it is necessary in this case. On Monday, he said he had not changed his mind.

“Especially in a case as far-reaching as this, I don’t need to have their names publicized, and I am not going to do it,” said Gmoser.

Gmoser said the defense knows the names on the subpoenas and “if you want to find those answers, go ask the defense. They have got all that information. I am not going to put it out there.”

Carter’s defense attorney, Chris Pagan, did not respond with a request for comment on that issue or any others, including if a pre-trial hearing will be scheduled before the trial.

As of Monday, the trial is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. on June 24 with no additional hearings or motions filed.

Prosecutors have turned over hundreds of documents, reports, pictures, maps, cell phone and computer data, search manifests, witness statements and work product in the case from police and a private detective. Some of the evidence is 13 years old, while some was obtained as recently as last summer and fall.

In January, after a status report hearing that didn’t happen in open court, Pagan said the defense would file no motions to suppress evidence.

Carter has not been in a courtroom since April 2023, but he is wearing an ankle monitor and is supervised by pretrial services division.

Prosecutors have also requested a jury view of multiple locations from Butler County to Indiana, where Markham’s body was found.

Prosecutors want the jury to go to the West Scioto Drive home in Fairfield where Carter lived in 2011, Markham’s townhouse on Dorshire Drive in Fairfield, the location where Markham’s body was recovered on South Big Cedar Road in Franklin County, Indiana, and the Carter family farm on Kokomo Hill Road in Franklin County, Indiana.

Markham, a free-spirited art student, was days away from her 22nd birthday when she vanished in August 2011 from her Fairfield townhouse. Her skeletal remains were found April 7, 2013, in a remote wooded area in Indiana about 30 miles from her home. Her death was ruled a homicide, but the cause of death has not been determined.

In March 2023, an 18-month investigation by the Butler County Prosecutor’s Office resulted in Carter’s arrest.

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