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Iowa — Jason Carter is going back to court, this time suing the state of Iowa in the latest chapter of the lengthy legal drama surrounding his mother’s murder.

Shirley Carter was shot and killed inside her home near Lacona in June 2015. Her body was discovered by her son, Jason. Jason Carter would quickly become the focus of the criminal investigation. Jason was charged with her murder in 2017, but acquitted by a jury in March 2019.

In a lawsuit filed on Thursday in Polk County, Jason Carter alleges that authorities failed to properly investigate his mother’s death. The lawsuit claims witness statements and confessions were not properly recorded or disclosed before Carter’s criminal trial.

Carter released this statement announcing the lawsuit:

“Five years ago, my family was torn apart by my mother’s murder, and the lead investigator accusing me of a crime I did not commit. It has been more than a year since I was acquitted and the evidence of the State’s failures came to light; yet, the State refuses to investigate my mother’s murder. The State has confessions, witness lists, and a motive, and still my family does not have justice. I do not want any other family to go through the pain that mine has suffered.”

Jason Carter

Jason Carter’s lawsuit alleges “violations of his constitutional rights, tortious infliction of severe
emotional distress, negligent and wrongful investigation, and abuse of process” by investigators. He is seeking unspecified punitive and compensatory damages.

Jason Carter has also filed a civil lawsuit against his father, DCI Investigator Mark Ludwick and Marion County Deputy Reed Kious for their roles in what attorneys call a “botched” investigation into Shirley’s murder.

In 2017, Jason Carter was found civilly responsible for his mother’s murder and ordered to pay a $10 million to his family.