Marion County Man Files Suit Against Son in Wife’s Shooting Death

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PLEASANTVILLE, Iowa -- A Marion County father filed a wrongful death lawsuit in his wife's murder. Shirley Carter, 68, was found dead from a gunshot wound at her home in Lacona last June.

Bill Carter says he know who pulled the trigger: the defendant in the civil lawsuit and his youngest son, Jason Carter.

"I wouldn't have done this at all if I didn't know. I still love my youngest son. I do love him, but I have to have justice for Shirley. I have to," Bill Carter said. "I was really beginning to fear that we weren't going to have justice for her."

The Carters raised three children together and were married for 52 years. Bill says he's lost without his wife.

"Part of my heart is missing. It is. A big part of me went with her," he said.

With a heavy heart, Bill Carter filed a wrongful death lawsuit against his son on Jan. 5.

Carter's two other children are also named as plaintiffs in the civil lawsuit.

"All of the evidence that we're aware of, that we've gathered independently, all of the evidence that is public record from law enforcement, unfortunately, just points to one conclusion that Jason Carter killed his mom," explained attorney Ron Danks. "We had hoped never to file it, but the circumstances of this case have dictated that we have."

The family hired a private investigator after waiting for police to make an arrest in the case. Danks claims the defendant had the opportunity and motive for the murder.

"Jason was having an affair. We know that his dad didn't know about the affair and his dad would have been very upset. We also believe that Jason was in financial difficulties and would need his dad to bail him out as he did in the past and his dad would not have bailed him out if he had known about the alleged affair," Danks said.

Jason Carter's attorney could not be reached for comment.

No criminal charges have been filed in the case. The Iowa DCI says it is still investigating Shirley Carter's homicide and can't comment on any suspects or the wrongful death lawsuit.