- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 30, 2018

KNOXVILLE, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa man is seeking to overturn a civil judgment finding him responsible for killing his mother, arguing Wednesday that new evidence suggests another suspect shot her during a farmhouse robbery.

At an unusual civil trial in December, jurors held Jason Carter responsible for Shirley Carter’s 2015 shooting death and ordered him to pay $10 million in damages to her estate.

Jason Carter had argued that his father, Bill, was likely responsible for shooting the woman in the kitchen of their rural Lacona home. But jurors sided with Bill Carter, who had filed the wrongful death lawsuit seeking to hold his son responsible after a criminal investigation into the death appeared to stall.

Bill Carter’s lawyers argued that Jason Carter killed his mother after she discovered he was having an extramarital affair and he worried he would be cut out of his parents’ will. After the civil verdict, prosecutors charged Jason Carter with first-degree murder. He has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial, which his legal team is seeking to move out of Marion County due to pre-trial publicity that included a February segment on “Dateline NBC.”

In court papers filed Wednesday, Jason Carter’s attorneys say prosecutors recently turned over investigative materials that show multiple informants told police that two brothers were trying to burglarize Shirley Carter’s home to steal prescription drugs when one of them shot her.

They say this evidence suggests Jason Carter is innocent and the civil trial would have resulted in a different outcome had it been available. Their filing asked a judge to either rule that Jason Carter is not responsible for the death based on the new information, or to at least grant a new trial where he can present it to jurors.

Mark Weinhardt, an attorney for Bill Carter, said his legal team had long been aware of the other suspects from early in the investigation but said they were discounted as possibilities based on “a complex analysis of lots of factors.” He said he would oppose new proceedings based on the information.

“There is nothing of substance new to our side in this motion,” he said. He added that his client remains certain that his son is responsible for Shirley Carter’s death, “and so do we.”

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