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June 26, 2016

Beverly Carter's Accused Murderer to Stand Trial Jan. 12

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Beverly Carter's Accused Murderer to Stand Trial Jan. 12

Lawyers for the man who is set to stand trial on charges in connection with the abduction and killing of an Arkansas real estate agent recently moved to get critical evidence tossed from the case and change his not-guilty plea by dropping the mental illness portion of it. 

Arron Lewis’ trial is set to begin shortly after the first of the year. Real estate professional Beverly Carter was reported missing in September 2014 when she vanished after showing a home to a prospective buyer. After days of searches, Carter’s body was found in a shallow grave near a cement facility about 20 miles away from the listing. 

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Lewis was questioned while police searched for Carter. He was later arrested and accused of being involved in her kidnapping and murder. His wife, Crystal Lowery, also was arrested shortly after. Earlier this year, Lowery pleaded guilty to first degree murder and has agreed to testify against Lewis as part of her plea.

Lewis’ lawyers have been successful in getting several interviews Lewis conducted with police after Carter’s disappearance ruled inadmissible for the trial. A judge ruled that the interviews were conducted without the presence of an attorney even though Lewis had requested one. The interviews had reportedly been key in helping police piece together what happened. 

In some of those interviews—which have been presented in pre-trial proceedings—Lewis allegedly told police that he selected Carter from an online ad and targeted her because he knew she worked alone. Lewis also allegedly told police at the time that he posed as a potential buyer to get Carter to meet him at the foreclosed home. When she arrived, according to court records, he had told Carter: “You’re about to have a very bad day” and then is accused of subduing her and binding her with green duct tape. 

When questioned prior to police locating Carter’s body, Lewis also allegedly implied to detectives that Carter was still alive but police were running out of time to find the kidnapped real estate agent alive. 

Lewis’ defense is also objecting to the use of affidavits, text messages sent by Lewis and Lowery, and other evidence in the trial. Prosecutors are hoping to insure the evidence—including a strand of hair believed to be Carter’s that was found in Lewis’ car—will be used in Lewis’ trial, which is set for Jan. 12. 

Source: “Man Charged in Ark. Real Estate Agent’s Murder Changes Plea, Wants More Evidence Tossed,” CBS-THV11.com (Dec. 29, 2015); “Beverly Carter’s Accused Murderer Changes Plea, Wants Evidence Tossed,” HousingWire (Dec. 30, 2015); and “Beverly Carter’s Son Reacts to Evidence Hearing: ‘It’s Really Pretty Gut-Wrenching,’” CBS-THV11.com (Dec. 30, 2015)