Jake Howard Carpenter, 29, of 485 Spencer Road, Fulton, was arrested Saturday morning and charged with two counts of murder, said Itawamba County Sheriff Chris Dickinson. Carpenter is accused of the stabbing deaths of Mildred Joy House, 79, and her husband, Fred Doyle House, 77, both of 509 Spencer Road, Fulton.
According to the sheriff, Carpenter was involved in the Lee County jail escape that led to the death of jailer Casey Harmon in the 1990s and was convicted for accessory after the fact, grand larceny and jail escape, but had served his time.
Dickinson said Carpenter broke into the House's home mid-morning on Thursday with the intention of robbery. An altercation allegedly ensued that led to the suspect stabbing both victims repeatedly.
The sheriff said a neighbor overheard the fight and saw the suspect leaving the house covered in blood.
"Carpenter apparently walked over to the neighbor and allegedly explained that Mr. House had cut his hand on the lawnmower and needed to be taken to the hospital," Dickinson said. The witness did not contact law enforcement.
Carpenter then allegedly stole the victims' car and took it to a location in Russellville, Ala.
Law enforcement agents were alerted to the crime about 9:30 p.m. Friday, when the victims' son discovered their bodies. The sheriff said Carpenter was tracked using the help of a former girlfriend. He was taken into the custody of the Russellville Police Department early Saturday morning. He was held in the Itawamba County Jail on Saturday. Bond had not been set.
The case remains under investigation.