BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — For Joyce Carpenter’s family, the wait is officially over. They don’t have to wait for court proceedings to begin. They don’t have to wait for it to be adjourned again and again. And they don’t have to wait to find out what will happen to Joyce’s husband Christopher. Monday, he was sentenced.
“It’s been a very stressful, very hard year and a half,” said Nerissa Nunley, Joyce’s aunt but who grew up like her sister because they were close in age. “Even though he’s convicted now and sentenced but it doesn’t bring Joy back.”
Carpenter was sentenced to 6 years and 4 months to 10 years in prison. BCPD said she was severely beaten back in December 2015. Her husband then dropped her off at the hospital and then left. Joy, as everyone called her, died in the hospital days later and her husband Christopher was arrested. Police said he told them that she was injured during a fight she had with two other women in the yard of their home. He said he broke it up and drove her to the hospital. The family never believed him.
“He had stabbed her with a fork previously and I came to the hospital to get her,” said Nunley wearing a t-shirt with Joy’s picture on it. “He broke her nose that time. We moved her out and she would go back. And we’d move her out and she would go back.”
After Christopher was arrested and trial began, new evidence emerged from medical reports that she possibly died due to hospital malpractice or overmedication. The prosecutor then lowered his charge to assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder. He pled no contest in June.
“I will never call him by his name,” said Nunley when she addressed the court during his sentencing. “That validates that he is human. But humans do not brutally destroy loved ones.”
Both Nunley and Joy’s mother Janessa Nunley spoke before the court. They wanted to do it during Christopher’s original sentencing date on August 28. However it was adjourned due to a discrepancy in his plea deal regarding how long he'd be in prison. Thursday that was figured out.
“There is closure but it doesn’t feel like you’d expect,” said Nerissa during an interview after court. “Joy still gone. And he’s going to go on everyday. He’s going to get three meals a day, medical care and taken care of and I done think that’s fair at all.”