Woman Sentenced to Prison in Agent’s Murder

July 8, 2015

An Arkansas woman who was charged, along with her estranged husband, in the abduction and slaying of real estate agent Beverly Carter was sentenced to 30 years in prison after changing her plea to guilty. 

Crystal Lowery was charged with the kidnapping and first-degree murder of the Arkansas real estate agent and is expected to testify against her estranged husband Arron Lewis at his murder trial in January. 

Beverly Carter’s death gripped national headlines at the end of September after she was reported missing following a showing to prospective buyers of a vacant, foreclosed home in Scott, Ark. After a massive search, her body was found four days later, about 20 miles away, in a shallow grave at a cement company.

Police arrested Arron Lewis and later his wife on charges related to Carter’s disappearance and death. Lewis reportedly told reporters after one court appearance that he killed Carter because she was a “rich broker.” Police have released few details on Lowery’s involvement in the case. 

Lowery did not speak during her court appearance Tuesday or when the judge sentenced her to 30 years in prison. She did respond to reporters who asked her if she was sorry for Carter’s death as she left court. Lowery responded: “Yes, I’m sorry for her death.” 

Lowery had originally entered a not-guilty plea to a charge of capital murder. She changed her plea on Tuesday to guilty of first-degree murder and kidnapping.

"We reduced the charge from capital murder to murder in the first degree conditioned on her truthful testimony at trial. So she has to provide truthful testimony," Prosecuting Attorney John Johnson said.

Lowery has a divorce suit pending against Lewis. 

Lewis will stand trial on charges of capital murder, kidnapping, and robbery in January.

Source: “Crystal Lowery Takes Plea Bargain in Beverly Carter Slaying, Gets 30 Years,” Arkansas Times (July 7, 2015) and “Woman Charged in Death of Real Estate Agent Beverly Carter Sentenced to 30 Years,” THV-11 CBS (July 7, 2015)