Jason Carter’s Defense Claims DCI Agent Didn’t Follow-Up on Leads

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa -- Wednesday was an important day for the defense as they tried to show the jury their opinion that officials did not adequately follow up on leads during the investigation of Shirley Carter’s death.

Jason Carter is accused of killing his mother, Shirley Carter, June 19, 2015.

The defense spent most of this week questioning Iowa DCI Special Agent Mark Ludwick about the names of other possible suspects, leads and tips.

Judge Brad McCall said the jury should not consider the details of these leads and tips “for their truth” rather to decide whether of not law enforcement properly conducted the investigation.

Jason Carter’s Defense Attorney Christine Branstad asked Special Agent Ludwick, “In this case clothing could have been collected and checked for gunshot residue, blowback or any type of biological residue correct?”

Ludwick responded, “Yeah that’s something we want to do right away on any shooting incident and this case, definitely a homicide. And that lead was assigned out unfortunately by the time I realized that the lead wasn’t completed it was the next day. So that was not completed.”

During cross examination, Marion County Attorney Ed Bull asked Ludwick if there was anyone they interviewed that provided information that was consistent with the crime scene.

He said there was only one person, Jason Carter.

“Jason Carter knew that it was a rifle that shot that refrigerator. Jason Carter knew that it was dad’s rifle used to kill mom and furthermore that rifle has been removed from the crime scene,” Ludwick said.

There were three other witnesses called to the stand who testified very briefly.

One of them was Private Investigator Bart Howard. The jury watched a video Private Investigator Howard shot of a test run of Jason Carter's route that he drove the day of his mother's murder.

Before the jury was dismissed for the day, Judge McCall said he believes attorneys are getting close to finishing submitting evidence and questioning witnesses.

Court reconvenes Thursday at the Pottawattamie County Courthouse at 9 a.m.

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