Archive for  March 15th 2019

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COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa — Thursday the jury in Jason Carter’s first-degree murder trial heard from his father, Bill Carter, and two witnesses from the medical examiner’s office.

Jason Carter is accused of shooting his mother, Shirley Carter, to death in June 19, 2015.

Bill Carter spent more than four hours on the witness stand.

Bill talked about how he and Shirley were high school sweethearts and were married for more than 50 years.

The jury also took a virtual tour of Bill Carter’s house and saw the kitchen where Shirley was murdered.

Bill still currently lives in that house and described to the jury what life was like living and working on the farm with Shirley.

Marion County Attorney Ed Bull asked Bill Carter about how he and Shirley divided their work, “What about out in the fields? Was it 90 percent you and 10 percent her?” Bill responded,

“No it was 50/50. She’d run the equipment for me, got ground ready and then I planted it and she always stayed ahead of me and did a perfect job.”

When Bull asked about his and Shirley’s will, Bill said if both he and Shirley had died on June 19, 2015, Jason Carter would have gotten, “The farm which was worth $3.5 to 4 million and another $800,000 at least in cash assets.”

Bill said he was a mess when she died. He was sad, but also angry.

One thing he said frustrated him was he heard members of the media say those who lived in the area didn’t need to worry about locking their doors following the murder and he felt that law enforcement officials had already pointed fingers at family members.

“We had a meth lab that was south of us about three years before. And the boys that were running it, took off into the timber and we all got phone calls to lock our doors and be on the lookout. And then my wife is lying there dead and they say don’t worry about it,” Bill said.

During testimony, he described the timeline of what he did on the morning of Shirley’s death.

After he and Shirley went to get coffee at Casey’s, Bill dropped Shirley off at their Lacona home and then drove to pick up his semi to haul grain to the Eddyville Cargill plant. After a few more stops in his day, he received a heart breaking phone call from his daughter, Jana Lain, and he said that she told him, “Mom’s dead and Jason found her and he won’t call 911. You have to call 911.”

Bill said he then dialed 911 and rushed home to find Shirley dead on the kitchen floor.

“I found Shirley on the floor and she just looked like she was sleeping. Her eyes were closed and her hands were crossed and her legs were crossed,” Bill said, “The first thing I did was check (the) carotid artery and she was dead. And I picked her head up and I kissed her on the forehead and she was cold.”

Bill said Jason then started pointing out bullet holes and said to him, “Some son of a bitch has robbed you and they’ve killed mom.”

The prosecution also called two witnesses from the medical examiner’s office who performed the autopsy on Shirley.

Bull said they hope to rest their case after more testimony on Friday.


DES MOINES, Iowa — As the Raccoon River sprinted well past flood stage Thursday at Fleur Drive.  Three road closures, one on Fleur from Bell to Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, another on George Flagg Parkway from SW 23rd to Park Avenue and a third on SW 30th from Bell to George Flagg Pkwy put Jasper Winery on a bit of a secluded island from their customers.  “It’s definitely hard knowing that we probably are not going to see anyone at all,” said Alison Boll, an event coordinator at Jasper Winery.

The flooding closures dried up customers Thursday leaving the winery empty but a map on social media hopes to help them pour back in.  “You guys can still get to us.  It is just a little back-way down a gravel trail.  A little bit more adventurous to get to the winery but there’s wine at the end so that is always good,” Boll said with a laugh.

Making matters worse, the river at Fleur is expected to crest Friday at 19.5 feet.  That would be the  seventh highest on record as the city expects the closures to last until early next week, potentially ruining a lucrative weekend.  Boll said, “Usually on the weekends we have a steady crowd.”

In years past it has been a weekend booked with weddings but thankfully not this year.  “We have a few private events that we will be having. Some tastings are going on so we will definitely be here ready to serve wine and make up some sangria for everybody who shows up,” said Boll.

Despite the setbacks, jasper winery is looking at their glass as half full.  “Next weekend should be even better, so we are looking forward to warm weather and getting rid of this flooding,” Boll said.

Jasper Winery will continue to keep regular hours despite the road closures.  Their normal business hours are 10 am to 6 pm Monday-Saturday and 1 pm to 5 pm on Sunday.  They are closed on Tuesdays.