Many questions need to be answered surrounding the bizarre death of Chavis Carter, the 21-year-old man that was shot in the head while handcuffed sitting in the back of a Jonesboro Police patrol car.
The circumstances just don't add up as to how someone who had handcuffs on was able to shoot himself in the head while trapped in the back of a police car.
The officers' report, the only one released by Jonesboro police, is a three page document of Officers Keith Baggett and Ron Marsh’s personal account of what happened the night of the shooting.
We've gone through the document and broke down the key essentials in order to draw a better picture of what happened that night.
One vital piece of evidence is the fact that Chavis was left-handed but was shot in the right temple; something his mother Teresa Carter says doesn’t make sense.
Read on as we break down the police report and focus on the important aspects of the night in question.
-The initial dispatched police call came in as a suspicious vehicle on the night of July 28th; reports suggested that a white truck was “driving up and down” Haltom Street with its lights off.
-There were three men in the truck, the driver was a 17-year-old white male driver, who was not named because he is underage. A second white male, 19-year-old Timothy Teal of Missouri was named in the report as well as a 21-year-old Chavis Carter, who told police his name was Laryan Bowman.
-Jonesboro police officer Keith Baggett says that Chavis Carter told him his name was Laryan Bowman and he was from Tennessee. When officer Ron Marsh arrived on the scene, Baggett said he asked the officer to remove “Bowman” from the truck, while Baggett frisked and questioned the two other men.
-Baggett’s report states that Marsh ran Carter’s name and discovered that he had an open warrant from Desoto County, Mississippi.
-Both officers say they found a set of scales under the passenger seat of the truck, right where Carter was sitting. Baggett stated that he opened the scales and smelled marijuana.
-Baggett wrote that he and Marsh placed the 17-year-old driver and Teal into handcuffs. Meanwhile Chavis was sitting in the back of Marsh's patrol car. Both Teal and the driver were placed into the back of Baggett’s patrol car.
-Baggett said that when he continued to search the truck he found a plastic bag containing a “white, powdery, granular substance." The driver told him that since the car belonged to his mother, it probably belonged to her.
-Baggett said in the report that Marsh found several plastic baggies while searching Carter, along with a small amount of marijuana.
-Marsh stated in the police report that he removed Carter from the back of his patrol car and handcuffed him behind his back, searched him a second time, and placed him back into the patrol unit.
-In the middle of everything, the officers claim that Carter's aunt pulled up to ask what was going on. They say in the report that while Carter was in the back of the patrol car, he must have phoned his aunt.
-After Carter's aunt left the scene, Baggett claims that as he was returning to his patrol car to talk to the driver and Teal, he heard a loud thump with a metallic sound. He assumed that Carter's aunt had driven over something.
-Both officers would later release Teal and the driver. As they drove away in their truck Baggett says he heard Officer Marsh on the radio then felt “several thumps” on the trunk of his car as Marsh sought to get his attention.
-Both officers returned to Marsh’s patrol car, where they found Carter “in a sitting position … slumped forward with his head in his lap.”
-Baggett’s report said there was a large amount of blood covering the front of Carter's shirt and pants while the seat and floor were also stained.
-Baggett states that Carter’s hands were still cuffed behind his back and that he was still breathing.
-Baggett’s report says Marsh found a small caliber handgun and secured it by placing it on the trunk of his patrol car.
-When the ambulance arrived, Chavis was still breathing and was transported to nearby St. Bernard’s hospital where he later died.
While this report gives some detail as to what happened that night, we demand a full and thorough investigation into Chavis' shooting death.