Judge Upholds Civil Judgment in Shirley Carter Wrongful Death Lawsuit
MARION COUNTY, Iowa – A judge has denied Jason Carter’s petition to overturn the civil court judgment that found him liable for the wrongful death of his mother, Shirley Carter.
The judge issued a ruling Thursday about the hearing, which was held back in December. Jason Carter’s attorneys brought forth evidence in the hearing they claimed was new and could have affected the outcome of the original civil trial.
Attorneys tried to introduce new suspects and a photo they say explained why Jason’s fingerprints were found on a gun safe in the home that he had initially told investigators he had never touched.
The judge disagreed, calling the evidence inadmissible. In the ruling, Judge Martha L. Mertz wrote, “The Court concludes Jason Carter failed to meet his burden of proof to establish a basis for a new trial or to vacate the judgment. The evidence that he seeks to offer is inadmissible, and therefore will not change the result.”
The original civil trial happened in 2017 after Bill Carter, Jason’s father, filed the lawsuit because local authorities had not charged his son with his wife’s murder. The jury awarded him a $10 million civil judgment.
Shirley Carter was found shot to death at her Lacona home in June of 2015.
Following the civil trial, Jason Carter was charged with first degree murder in her death. Investigators say evidence that came to light during the civil trial allowed them to charge Jason Carter criminally.
Jason Carter’s murder trial is scheduled for March 4th. It has been moved to Pottawattamie County due to pre-trial publicity.