MARION COUNTY, Iowa — The Carter vs. Carter case has moved into a new phase now that Jason Carter has filed a lawsuit of his own.
Two years ago Jason was found civilly responsible for the 2015 shooting death of his mother Shirley Carter and ordered to pay a $10 million judgment. But in March of this year, a jury found him not guilty of first-degree murder.
“That was one of the happiest days and we are so thankful,” Jason’s wife, Shelly Carter said. “But it hasn’t ended.”
Jason is now suing DCI investigator Mark Ludwick, Marion County, Deputy Reed Kious, and his father Bill Carter.
“We didn’t want to bring my father into this, but he’s put himself in the middle of this and it can’t be avoided,” Jason said. “I don’t have any conversations with my sister and my brother and may not ever again, our family has been so torn apart.”
A lawsuit filed Thursday makes several claims about officials botching the investigation. The 76-page document says the investigation was incomplete, that witnesses were manipulated, and that Jason Carter was intimidated and made a victim of the bias against him.
“They weren’t going to be dissuaded no matter what evidence was presented to them,” Carter’s lawyer, Glen Downey said. “And that has destroyed a family and made catching a killer almost impossible at this point.”
The lawsuit comprises six counts, which include false arrest, due process violations, and malicious prosecution.
“If this is how they conduct investigations, they shouldn’t be allowed to conduct investigations,” Downey said. “Destroying families who haven’t done anything wrong is absolutely not the job of law enforcement. Law enforcement is to follow the evidence not to predetermine someone’s guilt.”
Jason is asking for an unknown amount of compensatory and punitive damages, plus legal fees.
“I just want them to be held accountable for all the wrong things they’ve done,” Jason said.