Man accused of hacking brother, mother to death ordered held without bail
FRANKLIN – Shawn Carter was ordered held without bail at his arraignment Wednesday afternoon pending a probable cause hearing later this month on four second-degree murder charges for allegedly hacking his brother and mother to death in May.
Carter, 31, was arraigned in 6th Circuit District Division Court on two charges of killing his brother, Timothy Carter, 39, and two charges of killing his mother, Priscilla Carter, 59, on May 23 or 24. Their bodies were found May 24 at the family's just-rented home at 20 Sunset Drive in Belmont.
The duplicate charges profess alternate theories of the crimes. One set charges Shawn Carter recklessly caused the deaths, the other that he knowingly caused the deaths, according to Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeffery Strelzin.
Court documents allege Carter "inflicted multiple chop wounds to Timothy Carter's head, torso, and extremities" and "inflicted multiple chop wounds to Priscilla Carter's head and blunt impact injuries to her trunk."
As Carter watched via video from the Belknap County jail, Jesse Friedman, his public defender, asked the court for consideration of bail conditions, saying Carter has been "floundering" in jail on two traffic charges and $200 cash bail for almost two months.
"He killed two people," Strelzin said.
Friedman objected, saying Strelzin was stating conjecture. Judge Edward Gordon agreed and ordered Strelzin to refrain from making such statements.
Strelzin asked that the probable cause hearing for Carter be held on July 22 to allow the prosecution to present its witness, a state trooper who is presently on leave.
Friedman objected, saying his client has yet to be provided with affidavits detailing the murder charges. The public defender has filed a motion for the state to produce the affidavits, but the court has yet to rule.
Judge Gordon set the probable cause hearing for July 22 at 1 p.m.
Carter is scheduled to go on trial Friday at 9 a.m. on a charge of operating without a license and a bail violation. Those charges have kept him in jail since his arrest by Tilton and Belmont police a few hours after the bodies of his brother and mother were discovered.
After the arraignment, Strelzin would not comment on how many times the victims were struck, nor on whether the state has the murder weapon. He did say authorities know what type of weapon was used.
No plea has been entered for Shawn Carter by Friedman yet. After the hearing the public defender said his client is innocent.
"Based on the facts of the case as we know them now, I have no reason to believe he is involved in these murders," Friedman said. "His mother and brother are dead. Clearly he misses his mother and brother. I don't think he's had time to process the loss yet."