A 27-year-old former Marine was sentenced Friday to life in prison without possibility of parole for the 2015 stabbing deaths of his wife and their infant son in Anaheim.
Kwame Adom Carpenter was convicted Feb. 26 of murdering 24-year-old Moureen Gathua-Carpenter and their 6-month-old son, Kyan, on June 22, 2015.
“The image that I think stays in everyone’s mind is that child crawling with a knife in his back,” Orange County Superior Court Judge Richard King said at the sentencing hearing.
At the time of the killings, Carpenter was based in Camp Pendleton and was in the process of winding up his career in the Marines.
Prosecutors said a contentious “on-again, off-again” marital relationship disintegrated into a double homicide when Gathua-Carpenter discovered text messages her husband exchanged with a female co-worker, slapped him and told him to leave, prompting an angered Carpenter to fatally stab his wife and son with a butcher knife.
A deliveryman alerted an apartment manager, who called 911. When Carpenter left the apartment and drove away in a Lincoln Town Car, the manager found the victims inside.
He tried to revive the baby with CPR while calling 911, but the infant was pronounced dead shortly after arrival at a local hospital.
Carpenter was later spotted in the Lincoln at Fountain Valley Regional Hospital, but he drove away as police approached, leading them on a chase at speeds up to 80 mph on Euclid Avenue, Senior Deputy District Attorney Steve McGreevy said. Carpenter kept going, despite several collisions, until he crashed the car again at Edinger Avenue and ran into Mile Square Park in Santa Ana, McGreevy said.
Carpenter jumped into a lake in the park and was later taken into custody with help from police dogs.