- Associated Press - Monday, October 27, 2014

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Weeks after the body of a real estate agent was found in central Arkansas, people in her field met in Little Rock for a seminar focused on job safety.

Beverly Carter disappeared Sept. 25 after telling her husband she was showing a house in Scott to a potential client. Her body was found several days later in a shallow grave near Cabot.

Arron Michael Lewis, 33, was charged with kidnapping and murder in Carter’s death. He has pleaded not guilty.

Carolyn Patterson of the Real Estate School said two safety sessions were scheduled Monday in Little Rock at the Arkansas Realtors Association headquarters because of high demand after Carter’s death.

“The Beverly Carter case heightened everybody’s awareness of this,” she told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (https://bit.ly/1yFRiXL ). “People were afraid and emotional. We wanted to give them some tools so they can feel better.”

A variety of speakers were featured in the seminars, including Pulaski County Sheriff Doc Holladay, Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley and Jeffery Walker, a University of Arkansas-Little Rock criminologist.

The first speaker in the morning session was real estate agent Beth Mason, who spoke about being assaulted by an armed man while showing a home.

Mason said the attack happened while showing a home at night to someone she hadn’t “qualified,” or screened beforehand using a background check, such as a credit check. She said using that preliminary approval process is the “number one safety tool” a real estate agent can use.

Jegley agreed with Mason’s advice and encouraged real estate agents to use their instincts and to be aware of body language.


Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, https://www.arkansasonline.com

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