Killer Sentenced in Murder of Real Estate Agent

Arron Lewis gets life in prison without parole
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 15, 2016 6:24 PM CST
Killer Sentenced in Murder of Real Estate Agent
Arron Lewis, second from right, is led out of a courtroom Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016, at the Pulaski County Courthouse following jury selection in his capitol murder trial in Little Rock, Ark.   (Staton Breidenthal/The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via AP)

An Arkansas man was sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole Friday for the suffocation death of a real estate agent he was accused of luring to a fake home showing as part of a plot to kidnap her for ransom. Arron Lewis' punishment came shortly after a jury in Little Rock convicted him of capital murder and kidnapping for the death of 50-year-old Beverly Carter. She disappeared in September 2014 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. They argued that Carter was killed when the ransom plot went awry. Her body was later discovered in a shallow grave at a concrete plant where Lewis once worked, and an autopsy found she was suffocated.

Lewis' attorneys argued that Carter died accidentally during a consensual sex act, a claim that prosecutors said was a total fabrication. Carter's son, Carl Carter Jr. said his mother was wrongly portrayed. "For the guilty to be able to drag her sweet name through the mud ... it is awful," he said during a victim impact statement he gave in court before Lewis was sentenced. Lowery pleaded guilty last year to first-degree murder and kidnapping and was sentenced to 30 years in prison. She testified as a witness for the prosecution and denied Lewis' claims that the death was accidental. Lewis was automatically sentenced to life in prison without parole on the capital murder charge, and the jury sentenced him to an additional life term on the kidnapping charge. (More murder stories.)

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