SHERWOOD, Ark. (KTHV) -- Court and prison records show Carter Wilcoxson, 60, has a lengthy criminal history and violated his parole.
He's the prime suspect in the Katherine Cleary murder in Sherwood. The Department of Community Correction says Wilcoxson was serving parole for a 2006 forgery conviction. Police arrested him August 23rd for drugs and violating his parole. At that time, a spokesperson says there was no active warrant for his arrest.
Police say he was a handyman in Cleary's neighborhood and he knew the two women arrested for using Cleary's credit cards.
"This was a horrible, horrible murder. This individual has quite a criminal history," says Prosecutor Larry Jegley.
Jegley has slapped Wilcoxson with the highest charge-capital murder in the death of Katherine Cleary.
"He has quite a history of no respect for other individuals, their property, their rights or anything else," says Jegley.
Jail, prison, and court records outline the 60-year-old's criminal history. It includes possession of drugs, residential burglary, forgery, reckless driving, possession of a firearm, and theft by receiving. Although no kidnapping charges have been added to this current crime, Jegley says he thinks he can prove Wilcoxson stole Cleary's car.
"Back when all this happened, he was a person of interest," says Sherwood Captain Grady Russell.
Capt. Russell says Wilcoxson knew Cleary from being a handyman in her neighborhood. He also says there is some connection between Wilcoxson and the two women, Rhonda Glassburner-Strong and Sonia Bell who police arrested for using Cleary's credit cards.
"We also know he was an acquaintance of theirs," says Capt. Russell.
It's circumstantial evidence that Jegley hopes will work in his favor.
"People make light of good circumstantial evidence but under the law, circumstantial evidence is just as good as direct evidence," says Jegley. "Sherwood police deserve a lot of credit putting pieces together and pieces are numerous."
Some of those pieces that detectives are not releasing quite yet is cause of death, the type of DNA evidence gathered, and if they're looking for other suspects. And being charged with capital murder, he could face the death penalty.