Aaron Lewis has been charged with the murder and kidnap of Arkansas real estate agent Beverly Carter, whose body was found earlier today, as the NAR asks agents to ‘look out for each other’
American Realtors have been urged by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to uphold the memory of Beverly Carter by keeping safe and watching out for each other
A man has today been charged in with the murder and kidnap of Arkansas real estate agent, whose body was found more than 20 miles away from Scott, Arkansas, where she had an appointment to show a house last Thursday.
Aaron Lewis today pleaded not guilty today charges of capital murder, robbery and kidnapping of Beverly Carter. He is being held on US$1million bail.
NAR President Elect, Chris Polychron, says, “As both a Realtor and an Arkansan, I am saddened by this morning’s news of Beverly Carter’s untimely death. My heart goes out to her family, her friends, her co-workers, and everyone whose life Beverly touched in her 49 years with us.
“Working in real estate involves risk and, unfortunately, that risk takes many forms. As an industry, we collectively work very hard to promote safety awareness among our members. We are fully committed to educating Realtors about potential threats and providing them with resources to protect themselves.
“I urge all Realtors to honor Beverly Carter by keeping safe and looking out for each other.”
The Arkansas Realors Association is collecting donations in Beverly Carter’s name through their Hearts & Homes program.
NAR’s Realtor Safety resources include articles and blog posts, presentations and videos, webinars and training courses, and tools.
The NAR has been sharing information through social media sites, with thousands using Twitter through the hashtag #FindBeverly. There is also a dedicated Facebook page to the Crye Leike Real Estate Services agent’s memory.
Mr Lewis, 33, admitted during police questioning to kidnapping Mrs Carter, 50, but did not admit to the killing, Pulaski County Sheriff’s Lt. Carl Minden told ABC News. The suspect spoke briefly to reporters this morning as he was taken from the jail to the sheriff’s office, where he was to be interviewed again.
When asked why Mrs Carter was targeted, Mr Lewis responded, “Because she was just a woman that worked alone — a rich broker,” The Associated Press reported.
Her grieving family issued a statement today, saying, “We are devastated at the loss of our precious Beverly. There is now a hole in our hearts that will never be filled.”
The real estate agent’s disappearance again raised the debate among US realtors about whether real estate professionals, especially woman, should meet strangers at empty homes that are for sale.
“They’re scared, and I need someone to give them some reassurance,” says Brenda Rhoads, the principal broker at Crye Leike Real Estate Services, where Beverly Carter worked.
Just a fortnight ago, OPP Connect covered the debate raging between American Realtors over whether to carry guns to viewings. Rival columnists on the Housing Wire website, prompted by the NAR declaring September Safety For Realtors month, led to an online debate as to whether agents should carry concealed weapons to viewings.
There have been hundreds of comments from shocked Realtors on the death of Beverly Carter and how Realtors can keep safe. “I have been a realtor for 36 years, and it gets more dangerous all the time,” wrote Patricia Schmitz Manos.
“This is always a fear I’ve had,” Realtor Nancy Israel Valene, wrote online. “I am praying you find Beverly. She is me, she is you, and she is the entire Realtor community nationwide. Who could have imagined that this is a dangerous job? Not me.”
By Adrian Bishop, Editor, OPP Connect