Brandy Carpenter, 38, and De’Marchoe Carpenter, 41, began their romance in the summer of 1994. Brandy was 14 years old. De’Marchoe was 17. And Brandy had had a crush on him for years.

But before they had their first kiss, De’Marchoe was arrested for a murder he didn’t commit in Tulsa, Oklahoma.


De’Marchoe was eventually exonerated by the Oklahoma Innocence Project, and walked out of prison on May 9, 2016. He and Brandy got married 13 days later.

At StoryCorps, De’Marchoe and Brandy talked about the toll his incarceration took — and continues to take — on their relationship.

Top photo: Brandy and De’Marchoe Carpenter at their StoryCorps interview in Oklahoma City. Photo by Kevin Oliver for StoryCorps.
Bottom photo: De’Marchoe and Brandy Carpenter (back left and right), along with Brandy’s kids, during a 2010 prison visit. Brandy had kids with someone else after she and De’Marchoe parted ways. Now that they’re reunited, he’s become a father figure to them. Photo Courtesy De’Marchoe Carpenter.

Originally aired July 20, 2018, on NPR’s Morning Edition.