Arkansas Crime

Clark County authorities and Arkansas State Police say a 5-year-old girl has died after being found not breathing in a home near Amity by deputies investigating a report the child was "possibly" poisoned.

State police spokesman Bill Sadler told reporters that deputies were called to the home Sunday and found both the girl and a woman with a gunshot wound. Sadler says the girl was pronounced dead at a hospital and the woman is hospitalized in undisclosed condition.

Arron Lewis
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times


A man convicted of capital murder and kidnapping in the suffocation death of an Arkansas real estate agent has been sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole. 

Arron Lewis was accused of kidnapping and killing 50-year-old Beverly Carter, who disappeared after telling her husband that she was showing a house to a prospective buyer in a rural area near Little Rock. 

Prosecutors said Lewis and his estranged wife, Crystal Lowery, set up the fake house showing with Carter, then kidnapped her as part of a ransom plot. 

Arron Lewis
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.

Arron Lewis
KATV, Channel 7 News

A jury has been seated in the trial of a man accused of killing an Arkansas real estate agent after luring her to a rural home outside Little Rock. Opening statements are set to begin at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

12 jurors and two alternates will hear the case against Arron Lewis, who has pleaded not guilty to capital murder and kidnapping in the death of 49-year-old Beverly Carter.

Arron Lewis
KATV, Channel 7 News

An attorney for a man charged in the killing of a central Arkansas real estate agent says he doesn't expect to have trouble seating jurors despite extensive media coverage of the case.

Little Rock Police say a third suspect in a robbery attempt and shooting at an Arkansas restaurant that left an officer wounded has been arrested after a standoff with authorities.

Authorities say an off-duty police officer working security at a Red Lobster restaurant was shot in the shoulder during the robbery attempt Saturday night. The officer also returned fire, striking a juvenile suspect.

That suspect was hospitalized in serious condition and a second suspect was arrested Sunday morning.

ASU standoff
KATV, Channel 7 News

A prosecutor says he's filing formal charges against an Arkansas man whose standoff with police closed down Arkansas State University's campus last month.

Prosecutor Scott Ellington announced the charges Thursday against 47-year-old Jonesboro resident Brad Bartelt, who drove onto the lawn near the student union on campus Dec. 10 with a shotgun and tanks of gas and propane. Bartlet later told police he had initially planned to shoot other people but decided to kill himself during the incident.

Fellowship Bible Church

An Oklahoma man has pleaded guilty to falsely reporting that there might be a bomb at a northwest Arkansas church.

Court documents show 51-year-old Allen Ward of Muskogee pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court in Fayetteville to one count of maliciously conveying false information. Ward admitted he called Bentonville police in October 2012 and said there might be a bomb at Fellowship Bible Church in Rogers.

He faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

A sentencing date was not immediately set.

Arron Lewis
KATV, Channel 7 News

A judge has ruled that a jury can hear a recording of an Arkansas real estate agent asking her husband to follow ransom instructions recorded days before she was found dead by police.

Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Herbert Wright ruled Tuesday on several challenges to evidence prosecutors planned to present at Arron Lewis's trial next week.

Lewis is charged with capital murder and kidnapping in the death of real estate agent Beverly Carter.

Prosecutors are asking a judge to again reconsider allowing evidence taken from the car of a man charged in the death of a central Arkansas real estate agent.

Judge Herbert Wright has twice ruled that evidence obtained from the car of Arron Lewis cannot be presented during trial. Wright previously ruled that a search warrant obtained by the Pulaski County Sheriff's office was overly broad, then that deputies had not obtained evidence through a routine inventory when the car was towed.