KNOXVILLE – Police couldn’t tie anyone to the murder of Shirley Carter, until their main suspect was forced to testify in a civil trial.
It’s an unorthodox pattern that led to a murder against this man, Jason carter. He’s accused of shooting his mother to death in her kitchen in June 2015.
Shirley Carter’s death was a cold case until her husband sued their son Jason. A civil court jury found him liable in his mother’s death. He will have to pay ten million dollars for her wrongful death. And now he faces prison time.
Jason carter was arrested Sunday afternoon at a gas station north of Knoxville and charged with first degree murder. Two days after the verdict.
There’s no murder weapon but authorities say Jason said plenty in civil court, enough that his testimony led to this murder charge.
“A lot of information we had prior to the civil trial. The civil trial just added a couple pieces that we may not have normally gotten through our criminal investigation. Obviously, through depositions and trial testimony, it was able to help out a little bit,” said DCI Special Agent Mike Motsinger.
And some of that testimony was Jason Carter. DCI filed for probable cause saying Jason provided many inconsistent statements, including his earlier statements where he said he never touched anything scene.
His testimony in this trial he said otherwise.
“Me, Shelly and Jana went into storage room and found gun safe and no finger print dust like upstairs,” said Jason Carter.
The trial was an emotional one, especially when Bill was asked about the day he found his wife dead in their kitchen.
“I kissed her on the forehead, she was cool, I knew she had gone. I told her i was sorry, I was sorry I wasn’t there to protect her,” said Bill Carter.
Jason and his family had visited Bill and Shirley every night leading up to her death, which Bill found odd.
“Every evening, dad what’s your plan for tomorrow wand then would ask Shirley,” said Bill.
Bill’s attorneys questioned Jason a lot on his finances and whereabouts that day.
Jason was the first to find his mother and in his 911 call he said she had been dead for two hours.
“You could tell by looking at her she had been gone a long time,” said Jason Carter.
In Monday’s DCI press conference, they said they still would’ve moved forward with this criminal case even if the jury didn’t find Jason liable.
Jason is currently being held in the Marion County Jail on a million dollar cash only bond.