Public Safety

Iowa man found responsible for mom's death sues police

Marion County Courthouse in Knoxville, Iowa. (Google Street View image)
Marion County Courthouse in Knoxville, Iowa. (Google Street View image)

KNOXVILLE, Iowa — An Iowa man who was found responsible for his mother’s death at a civil trial but acquitted at a murder trial is now suing criminal investigators and his father.

Jason Carter, 47, filed a federal lawsuit Thursday accusing investigators for the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and Marion County Sheriff’s office of conducting a biased and incomplete investigation into his mother’s death. His father, Bill Carter, was also named as a defendant.

Carter’s father, Bill Carter, won a wrongful-death lawsuit against his son in 2017, alleging that Jason fatally shot 68-year-old Shirley Carter in June 2015 to gain access to his parents’ assets. Jason Carter denied the allegation, but he was ordered to pay $10 million to his mother’s estate.

In March a jury found Jason Carter not guilty of the murder charge.

Shirley Carter, 68, was found dead in the rural Lacona home she shared with Bill Carter on June 19, 2015. Bill Carter said he found his wife’s body in the kitchen with two gunshot wounds. Jason Carter was at home with his mother when Bill Carter arrived.

A Marion County judge upheld the civil verdict against Jason Carter in June despite the outcome of the criminal trial.

Jason Carter’s lawsuit says investigators didn’t thoroughly check out other leads while pursuing him as a suspect. Carter also said he had an alibi that should have disqualified him from being a suspect. The lawsuit also claims she was dead “well before” he found her.

Representatives with Iowa DCI and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to the Des Moines Register on Friday.

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Bill Carter’s attorney, David Fautsch, told the newspaper that the 73-year-old Carter will vigorously fight the lawsuit.

“Bill is angry, but not surprised, that the person liable for Shirley’s murder is once again on the hunt for money he does not deserve,” Fautsch said.

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