Charles Tenpenny, a 19-year-old resident of Dunedin, has been taken into police custody under the suspicion of murdering his girlfriend and then lying to authorities about what happened. The suspect’s increasingly erratic and frightening behavior has led to his detainment under the Baker Act.
The original incident occurred on July 18th when police were called out to Tenpenny’s home. When they arrived, they found an 18-year-old female with a gunshot wound. Tenpenny alleged that a burglar dressed entirely in black had broken into their home, shot the victim and then fled the scene. Investigators initially believed the suspect, but they continued to examine the evidence and realized the suspect’s story wasn’t adding up.
A few days passed as evidence was being examined. Before police had an opportunity to interrogate the suspect further, they were called out to another residence. This witness claimed they had walked in on their friend, Tenpenny, trying to hang himself. Police questioned Tenpenny who appeared to be in a very distraught state. At this point, the suspect completely confessed to accidentally shooting the 18-year-old victim himself. He explained that the couple had been arguing over a social media friend request when he pointed the firearm at his girlfriend. He admitted to intending to threaten and scare the victim, but he never meant for the weapon to discharge.
The suspect was detained under the Baker Act to protect himself from further harm. The victim, who is also 20-weeks pregnant with the couple’s child, is still in the hospital from the incident. Her and her baby have been listed in critical but stable condition.