BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Joyce Carpenter’s family will have to wait a little longer to see her husband Christopher officially sent to prison. He was accused of beating her nearly to death back in December 2015. Monday was his sentencing, on a lesser charge, but the courts adjourned it.
“Well that was very disappointing,” said aunt Nerissa Nunley during at the Calhoun County Courthouse. “We had prepared statements. Our emotions are all over the place. This has been a year and half journey and we just wanted to some closure.”
During trial last summer, new evidence emerged showing that it may have been Joyce treatment in the hospital that led to her death and not the beating. That's when Carpenter's charge was reduced from murder to assault with intent to cause great bodily harm less than murder.
"I was completely heartbroken," said Nunley remembering when it was reduced. "It was utter disbelief. You just can't imagine that you know that he beat her to the point of unrecognizable and then wants to push the blame off onto somebody else. "
Carpenter later pleaded 'no contest' to that assault charge and was expecting to be sentenced Monday. However, the court adjourned Monday without sentencing him as they continue to iron out details of how he should be sentenced.
"We’re really just thinking that the defense is playing games at this point," said Nunley wearing a shirt with Joyce's picture on it. "Adjourning as far as they can to just stretch it out."
Joyce's family came to court Monday hoping for some closure and resolution to the case, but went home disappointed that they could not address the court. Despite the 'no contest' plea, Nunley said Carpenter is maintaining his innocence as well, saying Joy was hurt in a fight with two women outside her home that night in December 2015.
"I would want him to spend the rest of his life in jail and never come out and be far away from his family so he couldn’t get their love and support because we will never get to love or support joy again," said Nunley.
Carpenter's sentencing is now scheduled for September 11.