Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Murder trial begins with defense casting blame on accused's wife

Posted By on Wed, Jan 13, 2016 at 11:45 AM

click to enlarge TRIAL BEGINS: Arron Lewis with deputy at trial today. - BRIAN CHILSON
  • Brian Chilson
  • TRIAL BEGINS: Arron Lewis with deputy at trial today.

click to enlarge FOR THE DEFENSE: Bill James is Lewis' attorney. - BRIAN CHILSON
  • Brian Chilson
  • FOR THE DEFENSE: Bill James is Lewis' attorney.
A standing-room only crowd was on hand for opening statements today in the murder trial of Arron Lewis, accused of the September 2014 abduction and murder of real estate agent Beverly Carter.

The prosecution described a gruesome slaying in which Carter was asphyxiated by having her head wrapped with duct tape and thrown in the trunk of a car, after meeting Lewis and his wife, Crystal Lowery, about a house for sale at Scott. Prosecutors said they would use Lewis' own statements, including in an interview with a reporter, as well as texts, recordings and his wife's testimony.

The defense launched multi-faceted alternative scenarios, including that Carter's death was a "hookup" gone bad — that her death was accidental during a sex act with Lowery. Defense lawyer Bill James indicated he'll throw suspicion on Lowery, who plea-bargained in the case and received a 30-year sentence.

The first prosecution witnesses include her son, who outlined what appeared to be a ransom attempt (though Carter had little money in her bank account), and a sheriff's deputy. Then came a co-worker. Defense cross-examination aimed at attaching ill motives to Carter's actions the day she died has drawn angry response from Carter's friends in courtroom. The prosecution has accused the defense of character assassination. The defense has repeatedly focused on cosmetic surgery Carter underwent and the suggestion that she'd sought an extramarital affair, something her friend testified she believed untrue.

The defense has not yet knotted together its theory on why — if indeed marital and financial problems led a woman to a poor decision on someone to meet — it excuses her killing. Beyond blaming it on Lewis' wife.

David Koon is covering and will have more details later.

Much of the afternoon was given to the examination of phone records, Lewis' chase and capture and law officer testimony. An FBI agent recounted how Lewis had spoken to him after his arrest about the possibility of going before a federal judge to plead guilty to a kidnapping charge, according to media accounts from the courtroom.

UPDATE: We had a miscommunication. David Koon was unable to attend the trial Wednesday, but will be on hand Thursday. Meanwhile, John Lyon of the Arkansas News Bureau has more coverage.

Tags: , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Speaking of...

  • LR City Board talks about crime and gang violence

    April 30, 2017
    Police Chief Kenton Buckner talked to the Little Rock City Board this afternoon at a special meeting about violent crime and the role being played by gang activities. The police can do more — and will, he said. But police alone are not the solution for problems besetting the most crime-prone neighborhoods. /more/
  • Gov. Hutchinson on last night's execution: went according to protocol, no need for an independent investigation

    April 28, 2017
    At a press conference this morning at the State Capitol, Governor Asa Hutchinson said that there would be no need for an independent review of last night's execution of death row inmate Kenneth Williams or even a written report, calling such an investigation "totally unjustified" even though witnesses said that as the deadly drugs were administered, Williams convulsed for ten seconds and coughed and made other noises loud enough to be heard through the plate glass separating the execution chamber and the witness room. /more/
  • Griffen asks probe of Ark. Supreme Court and AG's office conduct

    April 26, 2017
    At a press conference today at the Doubletree Hotel just across from the Pulaski County Courthouse, Pulaski County Fifth Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen and his attorneys announced that he has asked the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission to investigate the conduct of the entire Arkansas Supreme Court, and asked the director of the Arkansas Committee on Professional Conduct to investigate the conduct of Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and several others in the AG's office, related to what Griffen and his attorneys claim were forbidden ex parte conversations between the Supreme Court and the AG's office. /more/
  • Judicial Discipline admonishes Judge over DWI, reckless driving conviction

    April 25, 2017
    David Sachar with the state Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission announced today that a letter of admonishment has been issued to Fifth Judicial Circuit Judge William "Bill" Pearson, who blew through a DWI checkpoint near Clarksville in January before leading police on a short pursuit until a State Trooper disabled his truck by running into it. /more/
  • Mother Jones on the fallibility of forensic science, and efforts by AG Sessions to halt reform

    April 25, 2017
    Given that we've been trying to execute eight men in recent weeks, with several of their cases hinging on forensic evidence collected after the crime, you might want to read this story from Mother Jones on the fallibility of forensic science, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions' decision to disband a panel of lawyers, scientists, judges, crime lab technicians, law enforcement officers, and academics who meet quarterly with the goal of putting more scientific rigor into evidence analysis and the courtroom testimony often used to incriminate and convict defendants. /more/
  • Clarksville judge pleads guilty to two counts related to January DWI case

    April 19, 2017
    Clarksville Circuit Judge William "Bill" Pearson plead guilty to two misdemeanors on Monday, including DWI and reckless driving, relating to a Jan. 20 incident in which he blew through a DWI checkpoint before leading officers on a chase of over a mile near Clarksville. /more/
  • UPDATE Attorneys for Ledell Lee argue they should be allowed to locate, test DNA evidence collected in 1993 as part of innocence claim

    April 18, 2017
    In a hearing this afternoon before Pulaski County Circuit Judge Herbert Wright, attorneys for death row inmate Ledell Lee argued that they should be allowed to locate evidence collected prior to his arrest in 1993, including a single hair and a Converse shoe with a pinhead-sized spot of human blood on it, for modern DNA testing. They hope testing can prove Lee's innocence by showing that the African-American hair found at the crime scene belongs to someone other than Lee, and that the speck of blood found on Lee's shoe does not belong to the victim in the case. /more/
  • UPDATE Attorneys for death row inmate Marcel Williams argue execution would violate constitutional rights due physical condition

    April 18, 2017
    U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker is hearing arguments today from attorneys for Marcel Williams, who contend that due to his physical condition, the lethal injection scheduled for this coming Monday could risk a botched or agonizingly slow and painful execution, in violation of his constitutional rights under the Eighth Amendment. /more/
  • ACLU files for stay of execution for Ledell Lee

    April 18, 2017
    The ACLU has taken over the representation of death row inmate Ledell Lee, currently scheduled to be executed on Thursday, and today filed for a stay of execution. /more/
  • Death row inmates' federal lawsuit, day four

    April 13, 2017
    Attorneys and experts ventured deep into the weeds of the available medical literature on the drug midazolam today in federal court, where they are arguing for and against a federal lawsuit brought by Arkansas death row prisoners seeking to make the case that the state's abbreviated execution schedule — which would see seven men executed this month — would violate the Eighth Amendment and their right to effective counsel. Midazolam is a sedative that is the first of a three-drug cocktail the state plans to use to execute seven inmates this month. Today is the final day of four days of hearings in the matter. /more/
  • More »

Comments (18)

Showing 1-18 of 18

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-18 of 18

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • Raw feelings in the Arkansas Justice Building over workload, pay

    Strained relations between the Arkansas Supreme Court and the Arkansas Court of Appeals broke into public view this week. I expect more to come.
  • Virgil, quick come see

    There goes the Robert E. Lee. But the sentiment that built the monument? It's far from gone.
  • Real reform

    Arkansas voters, once perversely skeptical of complicated ballot issues like constitutional amendments, have become almost comical Pollyannas, ratifying the most shocking laws.
  • Conspiracy theorists

    Back in 2000, I interviewed Rev. Jerry Falwell on camera in connection with a documentary film of "The Hunting of the President," which Joe Conason and I wrote.

Visit Arkansas

Paddling the Fourche Creek Urban Water Trail

Paddling the Fourche Creek Urban Water Trail

Underutilized waterway is a hidden gem in urban Little Rock

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

Slideshows

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation