Life Sentence Upheld In Fatal 2021 Texarkana Oaklawn Center Shooting


TEXARKANA, Texas–A man sentenced to life in prison by a Bowie County jury last year for the January 2021 murder of a man who was shot inside his car in the Oaklawn Shopping Center in Texarkana was denied a new trial Wednesday by a Texas appellate court.

Charles Jerome Carter, 33, was found guilty and sentenced to the maximum punishment in the Jan. 12, 2021, death of 29-year-old Nichlos Muldrow. On appeal, Carter argued that his lawyer’s performance was so poor that he should get a do-over but the Sixth District Court of Appeals in Texarkana disagreed.

They found Carter’s complaints about his lawyer unpersuasive, and rejected his claims that the attorney should have asked that the jury instructions include language about self-defense.

Muldrow was suffering from gunshot wounds to his chest and leg when he was pulled from his car in the parking lot of a Whataburger in the Oaklawn Shopping Center. Witnesses testified that Carter told them he and Muldrow were meeting to complete a marijuana transaction but that the two began fighting before the deal was done and that Carter had shot Muldrow before speeding away from the scene.

In a typical self-defense case, the defendant admits to the conduct but argues it was necessary to protect their life or the life of another. Carter denied being at the scene and attempted to place blame for the killing on another person, which the appellate court said made him likely ineligible for a self-defense jury instruction.

The jury heard at trial that Carter has prior convictions for aggravated robbery and burglary of a habitation before deciding he should receive the maximum prison sentence and a maximum, $10,000 fine.

Carter is currently being held in the Ferguson Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in Midway, Texas, and his parole eligibility date is listed as March 2, 2051. Eligibility for parole is not a guarantee that parole will be granted.

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