Prosecutors and Defense Clash On What Led To Real Estate Agent's Death

Jan 13, 2016

File photo of Arron Lewis arriving for a court hearing last month.
Credit KATV, Channel 7 News

An Arkansas prosecutor told jurors that a man killed a real estate agent when a ransom plan began to fall through, though his defense attorney maintains the death was an accident.

Pulaski County Deputy Prosecutor Barbara Mariani said during her opening statement Wednesday that Arron Lewis targeted Beverly Carter.

Mariani said Lewis and his wife lured Carter to a rural home outside Little Rock and tried to demand a ransom from her husband, but when the plan started to unravel, Lewis killed Carter by wrapping her head in duct tape.

Carter was later found in a shallow grave.

Defense attorney Bill James told jurors that Carter died during a sexual tryst gone wrong, but Mariani says that's a complete fabrication.

The prosecutor noted that Lewis' wife, who has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the case, will testify about how she and Lewis went looking for a married real estate agent so they could demand a ransom from a spouse.