May 27, 2018

Man Found Guilty in Ark. Agent’s Murder

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Man Found Guilty in Ark. Agent’s Murder

The man accused of kidnapping and killing Arkansas real estate agent Beverly Carter has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Arron Lewis was found guilty of capital murder in the kidnapping and suffocation death of Carter. During the trial, prosecutors argued that he had killed Carter after a ransom plot that went wrong.

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Carter’s case gripped national headlines as soon as the 50-year-old agent went missing following a house showing to a prospective buyer in September 2014. A massive search ensued, when her body was found days later in a shallow grave at a concrete company where Lewis had worked. An autopsy later showed Carter had suffocated.

Prosecutors argued during the trial that Lewis and his estranged wife, Crystal Lowery, had set up a fake house showing to lure Carter to a home and then kidnapped her and tried to demand ransom from her husband.

Lewis testified during the trial last week describing to jurors how he buried Carter’s body and bound her with duct tape. He had insisted he did not kill her and instead blamed Lowery for her death.

Lowery pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and kidnapping last year. She was sentenced to 30 years in prison and had agreed to testify as a witness for the prosecution in Lewis’ trial. Lowery told the jury that Lewis’ claims that the death was accidental were wrong.

The jury took less than an hour of deliberating before finding Lewis guilty.

Source: “Guilty Verdict in Kidnap-Murder of Real Estate Agent,” CBS News (Jan. 15, 2016) and “Beverly Carter’s Son Speaks on Mother’s Death, Lewis Sentencing,” CBS-THV-11 (Jan. 18, 2016)