Justin Saari is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to a federal charge of conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine.
He witnessed the shooting of David Meyer, Jr. last year in the house in Ishpeming that Meyer shared with Jack Carpenter.
“Mr. Carpenter picked up the gun, and then Dave just said, pardon my language, ‘f’ing shoot me’, and, bang,” Saari said.
Saari testified that after the shooting, Carpenter told him to not go to the police and to help him get rid of the body.
Saari also claimed that Carpenter staged the scene, placing a weapon in Meyer’s hands after the fact.
“Tell me about how the knife got put in Dave’s hands,” Marquette County Prosecuting Attorney Matt Wiese said. “Mr. Carpenter grabbed it, and he pushed Dave’s prints on the knife and left it on the floor to make it look like he’d used it,” Saari replied.
Carpenter’s attorney, Karl Numinen, interviewed Saari at the Marquette County Jail Tuesday night. He claimed that, in that interview, Saari told him Meyer threatened Carpenter with the knife prior to the shooting.
Numinen asked, “And everything you said to me was freely and voluntarily, right?” Saari answered, “Yes.” “And you’re a liar, aren’t you?” Numinen asked. “No, I just told you what you wanted to hear,” Saari said.
Saari later said, “I was lying.” Numinen asked, “Straight to my face, yes?” Saari said. “Yes.”
Saari testified initially that he was not receiving and did not expect to receive any favors for testifying in this case. However, Saari met with federal agents before signing a plea agreement in his meth case.
Numinen asked, “And during your meeting with the federal agents prior to signing this plea agreement, you answered questions about this Carpenter investigation, didn’t you?” “Yes,” Saari answered. Numinen said, “So, you did know at the time you signed this plea agreement that your cooperation involved (the) Carpenter case, right?” Saari replied, “I kinda figured that, but I wasn’t sure.”
The pathologist from Marquette General who examined Meyer’s body, and a Michigan State Police sergeant who took measurements of the crime scene, also testified.
A member of the jury asked Thursday morning if they could see the gun that Carpenter used and the knife that Meyer is alleged to have threatened to use. Judge Thomas Solka replied that although neither weapon has been introduced into evidence yet, there are plenty of witnesses remaining, so both weapons may be introduced later.