HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (WNCN) – A southwest Arkansas man charged with kidnapping and killing a Gurdon woman and driving her body across multiple states has pleaded guilty to a charge of kidnapping resulting in death.
Kevin Bolton changed his plea at a hearing in U.S. District Court Monday afternoon.
Bolton previously pleaded not guilty to the charge. His attorney did not immediately return a phone call for comment.
Bolton is charged in the death of 20-year-old Cassandra Nicole “Cassie” Carter of Gurdon. Prosecutors say he kidnapped and killed Carter in March 2013, then drove across multiple states with her body in the trunk of her own car.
The Magnolia Reporter newspaper reported that the suspect choked Carter until she passed out and — believing she was dead — was put in the back seat of her own car. Later, Carter started “gagging and choking,” but the suspect choked her again and threw her in the car trunk for the journey to North Carolina, the newspaper reported.
Her body was found in the car trunk in Cherokee, North Carolina, in March 2014.
“This was a horrendous, despicable crime. We will not tolerate acts of violence in our communities, and we will stand up for victims of crime and their families,” U.S. Attorney Conner Eldridge told the Magnolia Reporter.
The statutory sentence for the charge is life imprisonment. Bolton will be sentenced at a later date.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report