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Pueblo man accused of murder refutes accounts from Oklahoma Highway Patrol

CLEVELAND, Okla. (KRDO) -- A Pueblo man accused of taking Oklahoma Highway Patrol on a chase in a stolen truck and wrecking the vehicle, causing the deaths of two Puebloans, is now claiming he wasn't even driving the truck in the first place.

Alex Carpenter, a 30-year-old, currently faces a single murder charge, an evading authorities charge, and unauthorized use of a vehicle charge. The suspect is currently being held in the Cleveland County Detention Center in Oklahoma on a $3 million bond.

In court filings obtained by 13 Investigates, Carpenter is calling on the Oklahoma court system to dismiss his murder charge and let him out of jail immediately.

The Puebloan says the accounts from Oklahoma Highway Patrol in the probable cause affidavit to charge Carpenter with murder is “incomplete and inaccurate.”

On the evening of August 15, Oklahoma State Troopers initiated a traffic stop for a stolen Ford Ranger in Oklahoma City.

Three people from Pueblo were inside the truck: Carpenter, his wife Mercedes Martinez, and Ethan Mestas.

According to the patrolman in pursuit, Carpenter was believed to be behind the wheel. The patrolman conducted a tactical vehicle intervention on the interstate causing the truck to spin and roll.

Mestas died at the scene, while Carpenters's wife was transported to an area hospital in critical condition. Oklahoma Highway Patrol confirmed with 13 Investigates that Martinez passed away from her injuries on September 1.

After being charged with 1st-degree murder in connection to Mestas' death, Carpenter filed a motion to dismiss. In the handwritten letter directed to the judge presiding over the case and the Cleveland County District Attorney, Carpenter alleges that Mestas was the driver and wouldn't pull over when he and his wife begged him to stop.

“For some unknown reason Ethan accelerated and would not stop," Carpenter wrote in his sworn affidavit. "My wife and I screamed and kept hollering for him to pull over and stop, but he kept driving and kept saying no.”

Carpenter makes no mention of the vehicle being stolen but, he was charged with vehicle theft after the accident. The defendant says Highway Patrol is playing a "guessing game" as to who was actually behind the wheel.

Mestas' family tells 13 Investigates that Carpenter is lying about who was driving on August 15. They say Carpenter picked Mestas up in the Ford Ranger from his home in Pueblo before leaving for Oklahoma.

They believe Carpenter is attempting to avoid multiple murder charges by shifting the blame to Mestas who is incapable of defending himself.

It's unclear if Carpenter will be charged in connection with the death of his wife.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol declined to comment. Carpenter's next court appearance in Oklahoma is scheduled for later this month.

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Dan Beedie

Dan is a reporter with the 13 Investigates team. Learn more about Dan here.

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