SANDERS — Details have emerged about the March 15 slaying of Latisha Bizer in the Arizona Park Estates neighborhood in Sanders.
Sanders is about 20 miles east of the New Mexico state line, off Highway 191. Her husband, Wade Curtis Carter, 48 from Sacramento, California, been charged for first-degree murder, a Class 1 Felony. Carter awaits trial in the Apache County Jail on a $10 million bond and is presumed by law to be innocent.
The case started at around 8:30 a.m. on that day when an Apache County Sheriff’s Deputy responded to reports of a fight. Up arrival, the deputy discovered the deceased lying on a floor covered with a blanket. Her husband, Wade Carter was “covered in blood,” according to court records. Carter allegedly had blood on his face, shirt and pants. He had reportedly cleaned blood off of his hands before the deputy arrived.
According to Apache County Chief Deputy Roscoe Herrerra, investigators from the Arizona Department of Pubic Safety in Phoenix assisted with the examination of the crime scene. Victim Bizer was found to have the back of her head bashed in and multiple stab wounds. The “blunt force trauma” as the deputy described it, was apparently caused by a “wood splitting maul” according to the direct complaint filed with the court on March 18. That is an instrument typically weighing five pounds on the sharpened business end of it, and is used for splitting wood. Investigators stated a “bloody hammer,” was found, probably the maul, in a metal shed described as Carters’s “man cave,” where he allegedly stayed at the property.
Investigators also found a “large knife secured to an axe handle,” near the deceased’s body. As well as the head trauma, the victim also was found to have “multiple stab wounds to the body,” according to a deputy’s statement. Ms. Bizer was 37 years old. Little is known about Carter, except that he is alleged to have a long criminal history including burglary and robbery, most recently in Sacramento. He has no income, and is disabled due to, according to his own hand writing, “Grandma seizures,” he told authorities, probably meant to describe grand mal seizures. The Mayo Clinic at mayoclinic.org states that such seizures are characterized by “violent muscle spasms,” and possible causes include head trauma, very low blood sugar, epilepsy or stroke.
Carter was also charged with two counts of aggravated assault, Class 3 Felonies, alleging that Carter assaulted the victim with the maul and also with the large knife, both “dangerous instruments” under Arizona law. Further, he was charged with concealing a dead body, a Class 6 Felony. Finally prosecutors charged three counts of tampering with evidence, Class 6 Felonies: one for Carter allegedly washing blood off his hands, and then allegedly hiding the victim’s bloody clothes in a vehicle on the property, and well as allegedly hiding the victim’s bloody purse in the vehicle as well.
The court appointed Carter to Show Low attorney Benjamin Brewer of The Brewer Law Office as defense counsel. The attorney is recognized by the State Bar of Arizona as a criminal law specialist. The state is represented by Deputy Apache County Attorney Alane Moore. There’s no telling who the judge will be considering that the superior court bench in the county is undergoing some changes.
Carter appeared in court on March 24 with Brewer and a victim representative name “Tenisha” appeared telephonically. The case is brand new, so the court continued the next hearing to April 14.