The man accused of the kidnapping and murder of an Arkansas Realtor is now facing capital murder charges and being held on $1 million bond.
Arron Michael Lewis, 33, virtually confessed to being party to the kidnapping, but said that an accomplice, whom he named as Trevor, was responsible for the murder – at least as far as public records go.
No word yet on if police have gotten a more complete confession, although it seems unlikely since he has plead not guilty in court.
Lewis’ history is one that reads of a ne’er-do-well small-time criminal, which makes his graduation to violent crime at his age somewhat perplexing, but not unheard of. More often than not, criminals tend to become less violent in their 30s if they weren’t violent in their teens and 20s – but that’s more a generalization than a hard and fast rule.
Lewis allegedly drifted among petty crime, theft and odd jobs. In between he had brushes that weren’t reported to authorities, but which paint the picture of a creepy clinger given to emotional outbursts, but mostly more talk than action.
On his Facebook page, which is still active, he describes his crime resume thusly:
And just so anybody who doesnt know...i am a 7 time felon. My charges are; first degree robbery '98, interstate commerce of a stolen vehicle '03, aggravated assault on officer '07, deactivating an anti theft device '08, 3 counts of theft (related to a scam i ran on a corporation)'11.
So if anyone would like to judge me for my past, remember that i don't do anything any more. I'm happy with my life and its not yours so it goes back to that saying...if you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything.
I have a wonderful woman who loves me and i love her, i have a house (paid for), my jeep and motorcycle (paid for), i'm on parole and do what i'm suppose to, i don't do drugs and i'm happy so before you judge me for who i was, look at who i am.
Lewis has felonies outside of Arkansas as well, for robbery in Utah and Kansas City.
Lewis was serving a six-year prison sentence for a theft crime he committed in 2010 – but released on parole last August for good behavior.
The Arkansas Parole Board issued a statement saying that because of the nature of Lewis' crimes, mostly theft, the board had no choice but to let him out on parole.
“We can give them a course of action or a program. But once they complete that, the statute says they will be transferred to parole supervision at that time, which was the case with Mr. Lewis,” Chairman of the Arkansas Parole Board, John Felts, said. “In his case, those previous felonies were all committed outside of the state or with the federal system, so none of the previous were Arkansas cases, had they been, the outcome might have been different.”
If anything, before his alleged decision to target Beverly Carter by luring her to a showing at a foreclosed home, he could be summed up with one unflattering word: loser.
Local media reports say that Lewis was given parole in August 2013. Police reports indicate that several complaints against Lewis were called into police, including “a woman who he gave a ride home, saying he was harassing her.”
A reporter at THV CBS 11 in Little Rock unearthed this about Lewis’s younger days.
"In a telephone conversation I spoke with a woman who lived next door to Lewis's mother's house in Tennessee. She says, 'It started off just being nice just talking with him and stuff.' Kristen, who only wants to go by her first name, says at one point, Lewis was pursuing her as a love interest. 'I always knew he seemed crazy. It's just something that came off but I didn't want to be that person to judge anyone,' Kristen continues. After corresponding over several text messages and phone calls, Kristen says she decided to end all communication. She says, 'He came off very clingy and obsessed. He's just, I would say, psycho.'"
On July 19, Lewis posted on his Facebook page that he got a job at Argos Cement in Cabot, Arkansas. This is the place where he allegedly buried Carter’s body in a shallow grave.
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Whether or not Lewis acted alone remains to be seen.
What happened that night of Sept. 25 will, with time and trial, be revealed.
Until then, it’s hard not to speculate. What was he expecting to get out of it?
He told reporters that he targeted Carter because she was a “rich broker” and because she was woman who worked alone.
Was it a robbery gone wrong? What did he expect more than maybe a little cash and jewelry, if that? He claimed to be doing well – posting pictures of his new Yamaha motorcycle, a house he wanted to buy because he claimed he wanted to get his son back, and even a picture of what appears to be several thousand in hundred dollar bills.
This is not someone who thinks about things long-term, but even the dimmest criminals know most people don’t carry much cash these days.
Was it planned as a kidnapping and things took a horrible turn?
Whatever happened that tragic September night, it’s a clarion call to real estate agents to take care not to put themselves in dangerous circumstances. But if they insist on it, don’t go in at a disadvantage.