Carter vs. Carter: Plaintiffs Rest Their Case

KNOXVILLE, Iowa -- Early Wednesday morning the plaintiffs rested and the defense had most of the day to call witnesses in the Carter family civil trial in Marion County.

Bill Carter and his son Billy are suing Bill's other son, Jason, for allegedly shooting and killing Bill's wife and Jason's mother, Shirley Carter, in 2015.

Attorneys started the day where they left off Tuesday with cross-examination of Jason Carter.

Jason said Wednesday he didn't kill his mother and deep down didn’t believe his dad, Bill Carter could have either, but his attorney’s have shown him otherwise.

Jason Carter's Attorney Steve Wandro called his first witness, Forensic Consultant Gary Rini, who agreed that part of the crime scene looked like it had been poorly ransacked.

“This is red flags right off the bat. When you have a burglary, the burglar doesn’t care about neatness. They’re not going to pull a drawer out to look inside. They take that drawer and they dump it. Because they don’t have time to be going through it. They want to get in and get out. So they take the drawer and just toss the drawer. The other thing is if you take a look at the picture, the paperwork is stacked nice and neat. If it was a burglar who had no care about the arrangement of those particular documents, they would have dumped them. But the red flag that comes up, says that whoever pulled that out has some kind of interest in keeping those in order. Because those are important papers,” Rini said.

The majority of the day was spent discussing Jason Carter’s finances and several witnesses stated he wasn’t in financial trouble.

Jason Hoch works at Wells Fargo and handles some of Jason’s financial matters.

“I had no concerns regarding their financial condition,” Hoch said.

Financial trouble was listed as a possible motive in the death of Shirley Carter.

Wandro also called one of the paramedics who responded to talk about the crime scene.

"We were told by firefighter, Curt Seddon, that the scene appeared to be suspicious. We were escorted into the house by Deputy Laney who advised us not to disturb the scene. Upon entering the house we found an elderly female lying supine on the ground,” Paramedic Laurie Goff said.

Wandro asked, “What does supine mean?” Goff responded, “On her back.”

Then Goff continued with her report of the crime scene, “On the kitchen floor within a few feet of the door. She was lying in a pool of dried blood that extended from her left shoulder to her waist."

Goff also talked about her impression of Jason the day Shirley died.

“He seemed upset distraught, you know, in that situation he was pulled in a lot of different directions. Bill was as well. Answering questions for deputies and things like that,” Goff said.

Testimony resumes Thursday at 9:30 a.m.