A Mississippi mother is accusing police in Jonesboro, Arkansas of killing her son after he was found shot in the head with his hands cuffed behind his back in a squad car.
A police report obtained by KAIT indicated that 21-year-old Chavis Chacobie Carter had been a passenger in a pickup truck when Officer Ron Marsh found “some marijuana” and plastic baggies in his possession. Marsh also determined that Carter had been wanted on a warrant after he missed a court date for drug charges in DeSoto County, Mississippi.
Marsh then had Carter “exit the patrol unit, placed him into handcuffs, searched him a second time then placed him into the back seat of the patrol unit.”
Jonesboro Police Sergeant Lyle Waterworth told WREG that Carter had been “handcuffed behind his back and double locked, and searched.”
At that point, Officer Keith Baggett believed a passing car ran over a piece of metal in the road because he heard “a loud thump with a metallic sound.” Baggett said he then heard “several thumps” after Marsh released the two other suspects. Marsh motioned Baggett over to the patrol car and said the 21-year-old had shot himself.
When the officers opened the patrol car door, they found Carter in a “sitting position slumped forward with his head in his lap.” The report indicated that Carter was still handcuffed and a small caliber handgun was sitting beside him.
Carter was taking to St. Bernards Regional Medical Center and later died from the gunshot wound.
Authorities in Jonesboro suspect that Carter shot himself in the head but his mother, Teresa Carter, isn’t buying it.
“I think they killed him, my son wasn’t suicidal,” she explained to WREG, adding that police told her he was shot in his right temple, even though her son was left handed.
“I just want to know what really happened,” Teresa Carter said. “That’s all I want to know.”
Officers Baggett and Marsh have been placed on leave pending an investigation.
Watch this video from WREG, broadcast July 30, 2012.