Beverly Carter, an Arkansas realtor, was kidnapped on September 25, 2014, while showing a home to a couple. Her body was found, bound and in a shallow grave, on September 30, 2014. Arron Lewis, a convicted felon who was connected to the crime by investigators through phone records, was arrested and charged with her kidnapping, and the capital murder charge was added once her body was found.
A month later, Lewis’ wife at the time, Crystal Lowery, was also arrested and hit with the same charges, according to court documents. Lowery eventually testified that Carter had been kidnapped by the couple as part of a ransom plot to make money. When the plot didn’t work as planned, Lewis killed Carter to cover their tracks, Arkansas Online reported.
Where is Lewis today? Is he still in prison?
Lewis Was Found Guilty of Capital Murder & Kidnapping by a Jury & Sentenced to Life in Prison Without Parole
On January 15, 2016, Lewis was found guilty of capital murder and kidnapping in Carter’s death, according to Arkansas Online. The outlet reported that the jury, made up of three men and nine women, deliberated for about an hour before reaching the unanimous verdict.
According to the Arkansas Department of Corrections’ public records, the 39-year-old Lewis is being held at the East Arkansas Regional Unit prison, max unit. His sentence is that of life without the possibility of parole. A detailed list of “major guilty disciplinary violations” shows that he has many violations, including trafficking and trading, possession or manufacture of contraband, destruction of property and more.
Public records also show a series of courses he’s attended in prison, including stress management, anger management and domestic violence.
The East Arkansas Regional Unit has experienced an outbreak of COVID-19 since the pandemic spread through the U.S. Stats from June 2020 show that 475 inmates at the East Arkansas Regional Unit had tested positive for the virus, according to WREG. A news report from August 2020 states that an inmate in his mid-70s at that prison had died of COVID-19. The latest COVID-19 figures from the Arkansas Department of Corrections show only the overall total of positive cases in the state without a prison-by-prison breakdown.
Lowery, Who Pleaded Guilty & Testified Against Lewis, Recently Appealed for Clemency
In July 2015, Lowery pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and kidnapping and was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Lowery also agreed to testify against her estranged husband in his trial. Lowery’s murder charge was reduced from capital murder to first-degree, according to Arkansas Online. As Lowery was led away from court, the outlet reported, she refused to answer reporters’ questions except for one about whether she was sorry. She answered, “Yes, I’m sorry for her death.”
In January 2016, during Lewis’ trial, Arkansas Online reported that Lowery testified for the prosecution and said he had plotted to kidnap Carter and hold her for ransom. She also said Lewis was the one who actually killed Carter after the couple realized they might get caught if she could identify them.
Lowery is now being held at the Wrightsville Women’s Facility where she is eligible for parole on November 29, 2035, according to public records. She also attended a series of courses, including stress and anger management, and obtained her GED in 2016.
Lowery applied for clemency earlier in 2020, requesting that her sentence be cut in half due to “exemplary institutional adjustment,” KATV reported. In the application letter, Lowery wrote that although “I know I can never say or do enough to change what I did,” she found God and participated in rehabilitation programs.
“We all learn from our mistakes, but our mistakes are not who we are,” Lowery wrote. “I am willing to do anything I need to do to show I am rehabilitated and I am not a danger to anyone.” The request was denied by the Arkansas Parole Board in July 2020.