MARION COUNTY, Iowa — New audio files released from a 2015 investigation into the death of Shirley Carter point to other potential suspects in the case.
In a civil trial last year, Jason Carter was found responsible for the death of his mother, Shirley, and days later was charged with her murder. Jason’s attorneys say if the new evidence had been included in the civil trial, the outcome could have been different.
The Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation conducted interviews after Shirley’s death, but were not required to release those files until now.
“In hindsight, I’m sure everyone would like to see that information released prior to any trial,” Marion County resident Lee Franck said.
It’s information that could have been crucial during the civil trial, but is now being released as Jason Carter prepares to defend himself against a murder charge. The interviews were part of the DCI investigation into Shirley’s death, and they conflict with some of the testimony during the civil case.
One audio recording is between Bill Carter–Shirley’s husband and Jason’s father–and DCI just days after Shirley’s death.
“She was cold. She was terribly cold. And she had rigor mortis. I’ve been, I was a butcher at one time and did a lot of skinning and butchering, and I know when something’s been dead for a long time. And she was so cold and stiff,” Bill said in 2015.
But during the civil trial, Bill said his wife was not rigor mortis.
Another interview took place months after Shirley died between DCI and Robert Sedlock, an inmate held in Marion County who claims two men named John and Joel Followill shot Shirley during a botched robbery.
“I got a guy who admitted doing it. Or admitted that his brother did it,” Sedlock said. “His brother got spooked and shot this woman. Shot her twice.”
Those interviews, along with several others, are why Jason’s attorneys are asking either the $10 million civil judgment be thrown out or Jason receive a new trial.
Regardless, people in Marion County hope Shirley gets justice she deserves.
“I wish him the best, I wish dad the best, and I hope there is peace when this whole thing is done for all of them,” Marion County resident Karin Sparks said.
Bill’s attorney did not return Channel 13’s calls for comment on Thursday, but do say Bill backs up the jury’s decision from last December when Jason was found liable for Shirley’s death.