Woman pleads not guilty in deaths of Kansas carnival workers

February 20, 2020 GMT
This undated photo provided by the Crawford County Jail in Van Buren, Ark., shows Kimberly Younger. Younger, suspected in the killings of a Kansas couple who were working as carnival vendors pleaded not guilty to several charges Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, in the death of Alfred and Pauline Carpenter, who were working as vendors at the Barton County Fair in July 2018 when they were killed, driven to Arkansas and buried. (Crawford County Jail via AP)
This undated photo provided by the Crawford County Jail in Van Buren, Ark., shows Kimberly Younger. Younger, suspected in the killings of a Kansas couple who were working as carnival vendors pleaded not guilty to several charges Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, in the death of Alfred and Pauline Carpenter, who were working as vendors at the Barton County Fair in July 2018 when they were killed, driven to Arkansas and buried. (Crawford County Jail via AP)

GREAT BEND, Kan. (AP) — A Florida woman pleaded not guilty Wednesday in the deaths of a Kansas couple who were killed after a carnival worker ordered their deaths as part of a fictitious “carnival mafia” initiation.

Kimberly Younger, of McIntosh, Florida, is facing six charges, including capital murder, in the July 2018 deaths of Alfred and Pauline Carpenter, of Wichita.

Authorities said the Carpenters were working as vendors at the Barton County Fair when they were killed, driven to Arkansas and buried in a national forest near Van Buren.

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During Wednesday’s arraignment, prosecutors said they would not seek the death penalty against Younger, KWCH reported. She is also charged with first-degree premeditated murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree premeditated murder, solicitation to commit first-degree premeditated murder and felony theft.

Police in Arkansas alleged that a Kansas carnival worker posed as a member of a mafia group and ordered fellow workers to kill the couple as part of an initiation. Investigators have said a “carnival mafia” does not exist.

Two other people have pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the deaths. Two others pleaded guilty to lesser charges.