More evidence turned over in John Carter murder trial

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

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

The prosecution turned over a seventh round of evidence last week in the John Carter murder case, and Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser said he anticipates a hearing will happen between now and the scheduled summer trial.

Carter’s defense team has yet to file a motion other than continuances in pretrial hearings and requests for discovery and a bill of particulars,.

Carter is accused of killing Fairfield’s Katelyn Markham, his fiancée in 2011. In March of 2023, Carter was indicted by a Butler County grand jury on a single count of murder.

He is free after posting $1 million bond, and the four-week trial is scheduled to begin June 24 in Butler County Common Pleas Court.

In January following a status report hearing that didn’t happen in open court, defense attorney Chris Pagan said the defense would file no motions to suppress evidence. Pagan did not respond to a request for comment on Monday.

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

Prosecutors have turned 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.

Included in the latest discovery are photographs of Carters fingerprints and handwriting and a BCI report from Markham’s Macbook, according to court records.

Gmoser said Monday he does anticipate some response from the defense, especially regarding the prosecution’s request for a jury view of multiple locations.

The requested jury view spans Butler County to Indiana, where Markham’s body was found.

Prosecutors want the jury to go to Carter’s home at the time of the alleged offense on West Scioto Drive in Fairfield, 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, Ind.

Gmoser acknowledged the jury view is extensive and could take a day out of the trial, but he said it is necessary.

Judge Dan Haughey has yet to rule on the motion and Gmoser said some aspects of the jury view procedure will need response by the defense and maybe a hearing.

“There will have to be some things that will be taking place with respect to the view of the premises and how we are going to be scheduling that. There is going to be some trial detail that will have to be worked out, technical trial points that will need to be addressed,” Gmoser said,

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.

It remained unsolved until March 2023 when an 18-month investigation by the Butler County Prosecutor’s Office resulted in Carter’s arrest.

The bill of particulars filed by the prosecution involve Carter’s changing statements about scratches on his face and the determination from Markham’s remains she had sharp force trauma to her left wrist.

Specifically, the bill of particulars states: “During the late hours of Aug. 13, 2011, through the early morning hours of Aug. 14, 2011, starting in the area of 5214 Dorshire Drive in the city of Fairfield, Butler County, Ohio, John Carter by physical violence and by force did cause the death of Katelyn Markham.”

The bill continues with: “Around 8 p.m. on Aug. 14, 2011, the Fairfield Police responded to the report of a missing person and saw multiple scratches on John Carter’s neck. When John Carter was confronted about the scratch marks he told officers that they came from shaving with his electric razor attachment. Later John Carter said he scratched himself on the neck and then said he doesn’t know how the scratches happened. On April 7, 2013, the remains of Katelyn Markham were discovered with incised wounds from sharp force trauma to the left wrist area.”

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