12 witnesses for prosecution, Arron Lewis, Barbara Mariani, Beverly Carter, Bill James, buried at Cabot cement plant, Cabot AR, Carl Carter Jr., Carter’s son, charged with murder, complete fabrication, Crystal Lowery, defense alleges sexual tryst, defense attorney, John Johnson, Judge Herbert Wright, kidnapped, killed, Little Rock AR, Lowery plea bargained out, murder trial, North Little Rock real estate agent, opening statements, Pulaski County A, ransom, serving time, showed house, Steven Adams, testify against Lewis, trial continues Thursday, Witnesses
The prosecution and the defense opened up today before a woman heavy jury made up of nine women and three men and presented starkly opposing lines before Pulaski County Judge Herbert Wright.
The prosecution said it would present evidence from Beverly Carter’s notebook, texts and E-mails, and a ransom recording. Lewis’ estranged wife Crystal Lowery, who pled guilty and is serving her lst degree murder charge in the case, will testify against Lewis. Lewis remains charged with capital murder, but prosecutors have said they would not seek the death penalty
Defense attorney Bill James started painting a picture of a woman who willingly met with Lewis and his wife Crystal. He contends they had an alleged sexual tryst that went wrong.
The prosecution team of John Johnson and Barbara Mariani went to work after opening statements and called 12 witnesses for the day. One of the prosecutors referred to the defense sexual tryst line as complete fabrication.
The rest of the day was spent calling police witnesses who described the text and E-mail accounts between Lewis and Carter. They told of a false account under the name of Steven Adams that Lewis used to contact Carter about showing the house. Carter’s son, Carl Carter Jr., was called as the first witness to tell the court that his mother would not have been able to pay a ransom because she did not have a large sum of money in her account.
Prosecution witnesses contend that Carter was tazed, kidnapped, killed and buried outside a Cabot cement factory where she was found in a shallow grave. Lewis had spent some time at the factory and was recalled by a witness.
The prosecution expects to call approximately 22 witnesses, and court officials hope to go to the jury by Friday. However, Judge Wright said they will run into Saturday if necessary.
Court will resume Thursday at 10 a.m. in the 7th Divisional Courtroom.