Murder suspect fights officers during bond hearing

Murder suspect fights officers
Carpenter and Marrone (Source: Berkeley County Detention Center and SPD)
Carpenter and Marrone (Source: Berkeley County Detention Center and SPD)

SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - In a police report released Monday, a 33-year-old man accused of strangling a 21-year-old woman to death told police officers,"She hit me and I hit her back."

The Berkeley County Coroner's Office says Jasmine Marrone's body was found in the back of her car in Summerville on Sunday. James Randall Carpenter is charged with murdering Marrone.

Carpenter was set to have a bond court hearing Monday evening but authorities say he was combative and officers had to force him to the ground.

The Summerville Police Department responded to the Circle K on 1330 N. Main St. around 7:30 a.m. in reference to an intoxicated driver. A police officer then located a 1990 black Nissan which matched the description provided by police dispatch.

The officer then found Carpenter in the car and asked him to step out. An incident report states that when Carpenter stepped out of the vehicle, he immediately attempted to close the driver door behind him.

The officer then told Carpenter to leave the door open. According to the officer, Carpenter appeared very nervous and told the officer he did nothing wrong. A police report states that Carpenter was pacing back and forth and requesting to leave several times.

When the officer asked Carpenter why there was blood on his clothing, Carpenter said that he and his brother had a fight in Goose Creek the previous night. Investigators say that Carpenter could not provide a driver's license and said his wallet was stolen.

Carpenter then provided the officer with a U.S. passport. According to Carpenter, he was going to his mother's funeral in James Island in "30 minutes."

Carpenter said that the Nissan was his brother's girlfriend's vehicle. Police dispatch then advised the officer that Carpenter was wanted out of Texas.

According to police, Carpenter attempted to pull away from the officers while he was being put into handcuffs. Authorities report that Carpenter continued to argue and "remained defiant" with the officers on scene.

After officers found Marrone's body covered in blankets in the backseat of the Nissan, the responding officer asked Carpenter who the person was.

Carpenter said, "She hit me and I hit her back."

Police say Carpenter began to struggle with officers as authorities attempted to put a seat belt on him. According to investigators, Carpenter spit several times in the officer's faces and attempted to kick another officer.

Police are asking anyone that had contact with the two on Sept. 22 or Sept. 23 to contact them at 843-851-4100.

According to court records, Carpenter was released from the Charleston County Detention Center last Friday after being brought in on a bench warrant for transaction card fraud.  Records indicate Carpenter lives in an apartment on Encamptment Boulevard in North Charleston.

While Summerville police said Marrone was from Tennessee, court records indicate she had a Summerville address in 2009, on Arbor Oak Drive.  The Berkeley County Coroner's Office has not said where exactly in Tennessee Marrone is originally from.

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