Former Metro officer enters plea in wife’s murder

Friday, June 11, 2010 at 4:29pm

The former Metro police officer accused of murdering his wife and saying she committed suicide pleaded not guilty Friday as his attorney and the state argued over his bond amount.

Deon Lamont Cartmell, 23, faces a first-degree murder charge in the March 16 shooting death of his wife, 24-year-old Shari Monique Cartmell at the couple’s home 3815 Saunders Ave.

After Cartmell entered his plea Friday morning, Judge Randall Wyatt heard testimony regarding motions filed by both sides — one from the defense to reduce Cartmell’s bond amount and one from the state to increase the bond amount.

During the hearing, Antoya Brandon, Shari Cartmell’s sister, testified that she had received threatening messages through her Facebook account warning her to watch her back. Another message referred to a visit Brandon took to a Walmart, even mentioning the clothes she wore.

Part of the message read, “Be glad you didn’t get it on that day. The little girl with you was the only reason you didn’t get got.”

Later, Metro homicide detective Charles Robinson testified to finding an old, unrelated, bullet hole in the Cartmells’ home as well as what prosecutors referred to as a “make shift shooting range” inside the home.

Robinson said he found in a spare bedroom several tires, a trauma plate from a bulletproof vest and a cup filled with “numerous spent cartridge cases.”

“It appeared as someone had been firing weapons in that room,” Robinson said.

Wyatt took the bond hearing matter under advisement and said he would issue a ruling at a later date.

Cartmell patrolled the East Precinct before he was decommissioned the day after his wife died. The police department placed him on administrative assignment during its investigation.

Cartmell graduated from the police academy in July 2009. Police arrested Cartmell on May 28, the same day a grand jury indicted him. He is currently being held in the Metro Jail in lieu of $300,000 bond.