LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A man accused of abducting and killing a real estate agent in rural Arkansas pleaded not guilty Sept. 30th to preliminary charges of kidnapping and capital murder, hours after the woman’s body was discovered in a shallow grave.
Arron Michael Lewis appeared in court and pleaded not guilty to one count each of capital murder, kidnapping and robbery, as well as four weapons charges, according to the office of Pulaski County District Judge Wayne Gruber.
Early on Sept. 30, investigators found the body of Beverly Carter, 49, at Argos Concrete Company in a rural area about 25 miles northeast of Little Rock and more than 20 miles away from Scott, where she had an appointment to show a house Sept. 26th but hadn’t been seen since.
Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Carl Minden said Lewis admitted to kidnapping Carter but did not lead authorities to her body. He said investigators received a tip that led them to the concrete company where Carter’s body was found.
Lewis previously worked for the concrete company, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported. Lewis, 33, was being held on $1 million bail in the Pulaski County jail.
Lewis spoke briefly to reporters as he was taken from the jail to the sheriff’s office, where he was interviewed again after spending more than 12 hours with investigators Sept. 29th.
When asked by reporters why Carter was targeted, Lewis responded: “Because she was just a woman that worked alone — a rich broker.” He denied killing her.
Police haven’t said how investigators linked Lewis to Carter’s disappearance, but Sheriff Doc Holladay said more details will be released at a news conference.
“I just want to express my condolences to the Carter family and her friends who have worked so hard to find her and these investigators who were committed to finding her,” Holladay told reporters.