D.A. won’t pursue theft charges against former Pfister murder suspect
July 15, 2014
Ninth Judicial District Attorney Sherry Caloia announced Tuesday afternoon that her office will not be filing theft charges against Katherine Carpenter, a former suspect in the murder of Aspen native Nancy Pfister.
Carpenter, 56, was arrested on March 14 and charged with first-degree murder in connection with Pfister's late February death. However, that charge and two others against her were dismissed on June 20, the day that William Styler, a former Front Range anesthesiologist, appeared in Pitkin County District Court and pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.
William Styler, 66, told authorities he acted alone in murdering Pfister on Feb. 24. He received a 20-year prison sentence through a plea agreement with the district attorney's office. Murder charges against his wife, Nancy Styler, were dropped on June 18. The Stylers were arrested on March 3.
In the week following William Styler's sentencing, District Attorney Sherry Caloia said that her office was considering theft charges against Carpenter, a former Aspen bank teller. Authorities were looking into her removal of $6,000 cash and two pieces of jewelry from Pfister's bank safety deposit box on Feb. 27, the day after she reported to authorities the discovery of Pfister's body in a closet at Pfister's West Buttermilk Road residence.
Carpenter's attorneys, Kathleen Lord, of Denver, and Greg Greer, of Glenwood Springs, have said that Carpenter had permission to access Pfister's safety deposit box. Pfister and Carpenter were longtime friends, and Carpenter assisted Pfister with personal business, such as collecting money from tenants when Pfister went on extended vacations.
Neither Greer nor Lord returned phone messages or emails from The Aspen Times on Tuesday.
"The Ninth Judicial District Attorney's Office will not be filing theft charges against Katherine Carpenter at this time," a news release from Caloia says. "There is insufficient evidence to prove the charge beyond a reasonable doubt. This decision may be reviewed in the future should the District Attorney's Office be presented with additional evidence."
The Stylers rented Pfister's house for a few months last winter. Authorities have said that William Styler and Pfister were embroiled in a financial dispute following Pfister's return from Australia in February. Pfister posted comments on her Facebook page alleging that the Stylers were not paying rent.
For updates on this story, see Wednesday's Aspen Times.