Nancy Pfister Murder: 3 Suspects in Socialite's Death in Court

Image: Nancy Pfister Murder: 3 Suspects in Socialite's Death in Court William Styler, left, Nancy Styler, center, and Kathy Carpenter.

Tuesday, 18 Mar 2014 09:41 AM

By Nick Sanchez

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All three suspects in the murder of Aspen socialite Nancy Pfister have been brought to court, including Pfister's friend Katherine M. Carpenter who discovered her body on Feb. 26.

After Pfister returned from an extended trip to Australia, her body was found by Carpenter severely beaten in an upstairs closet, according to ABC News. Pfister, 57, was the daughter of the Buttermilk ski area's co-founders Art and Betty Pfister. Along with three other mountains, Buttermilk is one of the main areas in the Aspen/Snowmass complex, which is frequented by many Hollywood celebrities and other wealthy patrons.

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The two other suspects, former physician William Styler, 65, and his wife, Nancy, 62, were renting Pfister's house while she was away. The couple had moved from the Denver area in November. Later found at a motel in the nearby town of Basalt, they were arrested and booked on suspicion of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder on March 3.

Pfister made a post on Facebook in January that potentially referred to the couple.

"I'd like to stay in Australia but the people that were supposedly taking care of my house are not doing what they said they would do and they're not paying rent and they haven't paid utilities," she wrote. 

After the Styler's first court appearance on March 4, Pitkin County Deputy District Attorney Andrea Bryan told Reuters, "We anticipate a successful prosecution in this case."

The couple made a subsequent court appearance on Sunday in which they were represented by separate lawyers just a few hours before Carpenter, 56, was brought in for her appearance. She was arrested Friday night, and has also been charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.

County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo said this is the first homicide the county has dealt with since 2001. The sheriff's office has released little information about the details of the investigation, although he has said he is taking care of Pfister's dog. The autopsy report and all records have been sealed.

"How could someone just be so angry that they got kicked out of a house?" said Pfister's daughter, Juliana Pfister, at the time of the trial. "There's not to be something more. It's hard to understand that."

She attended the proceedings with her aunt Christina as well as other friends and family at her side. Sheriff DiSalvo also sat with the family.

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