The Arkansas man who faces capital murder charges in the death of a real estate broker whose body was found early Tuesday in a shallow grave told reporters she was chosen because "she was a woman that worked alone -- a rich broker."
Arron Lewis, the suspect, denied killing Beverly Carter, and mentioned a co-defendant during the brief comments to reporters Tuesday while being led by police in handcuffs. Police said at a Tuesday press conference they are not seeking any other suspects.
Lewis appeared in court Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to one count each of capital murder, kidnapping and robbery, as well as four weapons charges, according to the office of Pulaski County District Judge Wayne Gruber.
Carter had been missing since Thursday afternoon, when authorities say she had planned to show a house in the town of Scott, but never returned from the appointment.
Her body was found in a shallow grave at a concrete company in a rural area about 25 miles northeast of Little Rock. Police say Lewis has admitted to kidnapping Carter.
Lewis was arrested Monday morning, a day after authorities identified him as a suspect in the case. Fox16.com reported that a passerby recognized him outside a Subway restaurant in West Little Rock and chased him into an apartment complex along with a group of other men. Lewis was hiding in a manager's office when he was apprehended, police said.
It is not clear how investigators initially connected Lewis to the case. According to the sheriff's office, Lewis was questioned for more than 12 hours Monday. Lewis admitted to kidnapping Carter, but did not divulge her whereabouts. At some point Monday, investigators received a tip leading them to the address where she was found.
Pulaski County Lt. Carl Minden said that Lewis was on parole until 2017 for previous convictions in northwest Arkansas. He did not reveal whether Lewis was the client Carter was planning to meet.
Police said Carter’s purse was found in her vehicle outside the home Friday and the door to the residence she was showing was left open. Detectives believe Carter was taken from the home.
Carl Carter, her husband, told First Coast News that he received a text from Beverly around 1 a.m. Friday, the morning after her disappearance.
But he said the message didn’t sound like her at all.
"All of a sudden I received three texts in a row. One said 'Yes.'… Then she sent another text that said, 'My phone's low. The battery's down, and I'll call you whenever I get signal.' …And, then, straight back-to-back, I received a text that said 'Oh, I'm out drinking with some friends,'" he told the station. "Beverly's not a drinker."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.