Lewis Trial: Carter Died of Suffocation


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A mask of duct tape suffocated Beverly Carter and she likely lost consciousness in under a minute. Her death came very soon after.

That’s what a medical examiner testified to early Thursday evening at the capital murder trial for Arron Lewis.

Charles Hall Kokes with the State Crime Lab also told the court these details:

    She was alive when the mask was applied. The mask on Carter’s face was tight and applying pressure. Her cause of death was asphyxia due to airway obstruction. Carter likely struggled to gain air.
    She was bound with hands behind her back.
    There was no evidence Carter had been choked as Crystal Lowery had testified earlier.
    Carter was partly clothed but without a blouse when brought to the lab.
    With exception of blouse all clothing appeared to be consistent with being on her body at time of death
    Carter had lapband surgery along with tummy tuck. She had abdomen band “binder” in place that appeared undisturbed.
    Carter also had breast reduction surgery. Not uncommon to women who have lost a lot of weight. Carter would likely still have been healing.
    Toxicology results for Carter revealed antidepressant in system. Could be used for anxiety or depression.

Earlier in the day, an eyewitness to the murder took the stand.

During questioning from the prosecutor, Crystal Lowery said it was Arron Lewis’s idea to kidnap a married female broker and hold her ransom for $100,000.

But she said they soon learned Beverly Carter had no money.

Thats when Lowery told jurors Lewis said they had to “get rid of her”.

After he killed Carter — Lowery said Lewis  “He showed me how he choked her.”

” I think that it’s becoming it’s becoming very evident to everyone in the room that that my mom was a precious innocent woman that was tricked and kidnapped and murdered,” said Carl Carter, Jr.

Earlier in the day a former Pulaski Country sheriff deputy talked about finding Beverly Carter in a shallow grave.

Prosecutor: “When you approached the grave were you able to see an elbow and fingers sticking out?”

Investigator: “Yes ma’am.”

During his cross examination defense attorney Bill James hammered away on Crystal Lowery, questioning her credibility saying the ransom plan doesn’t make any sense

With the prosecutions case winding down, attorney Bill James said he plans on calling 2-4 witnesses when the defense gets its shot

The state rested its case after the medical examiner’s testimony.

The defense then told the court it will ask for a directed verdict on murder in the first degree, saying that the only person who placed Lewis as the killer is co-defendant Lowery who has not been corroborated and accepted a plea deal for her testimony.

The defense said the prosecution did not provide sufficient evidence to indicate Carter was kidnapped, ransomed or terrorized.

The jury has been asked to arrive at 8 a.m. Friday for an 8:30 start. The defense is expected to wrap up its case.


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