Richard Conte (Photo from Nevada Dept. of Correction)
CONWAY, Ark. (KTHV) -- Jurors heard emotional testimony from the children of murder victim Carter Elliott on Day 2 of the Richard Conte murder trial in Faulkner County.
Ashley Waldron and Trey Elliott took the stand in tears Wednesday describing the day they found out their father and his friend Timothy Robertson had been murdered inside Elliott's home in Conway.
A month after the murders, Conte kidnapped his wife, the ex-wife of Elliott, and held her captive at his home in Carson City, Nev. Jurors heard emotional testimony from several family members describing the kidnapping and bizarre stories of Conte's behavior leading up to the murder.
One testimony from Kevin Clark, Conte's friend from medical school and the brother in law of Schwartz, described an odd phone call he received from Conte on April 17th 2002. Conte told him he had been shot in Afghanistan while on an assassination mission and only trusted Clark to remove the bullets.
Hours later, Conte showed up at Clark's office in full military fatigues and bullets throughout his arms and legs. Clark says it was obvious those bullets did not enter Conte's body by gunfire but rather through small incisions he had made all over his body and placed the bullets there.
The defense it did not prove Conte was a killer and there is still no physical evidence tying him to murder scene at Carter Elliott's home on May 19th, 2002.
Prosecution's 4th Witness - Kevin Clark, friend from medical school and brother-in-law to Lark Schwartz.
- Met Conte in medical school in Grenada.
- Conte told Clark he was a hired assassin for a private company contracted by the U.S. government.
- Conte kept medals in his pocket showing he was a member of the Delta Forces.
- Conte and Clark shot guns together and Conte was a great shot.
- After hearing about Elliott and Robertson's murders, Clark called Conte at all three of his homes without a response.
- 45 minutes later, Conte returned his call from his Duck Creek, Utah home.
- Clark heard of Schwartz's disappearance and called Conte who said he had her tied to a chair at his home.
Prosecution's 5th Witness - Ashley Waldron, daughter of Carter Elliott and Lark Schwartz.
- Knew Conte as a friend of her uncle's and her mother's new husband.
- Attended their wedding.
- Conte paid for Waldron's wedding dress and was always very nice to her.
- Lived in Salt Lake City at the time her father was killed.
- After the murder, Waldron stayed in Conway to take care of her father's affairs.
- Found a gun at his home after the murders, took it to her brother who turned it over to police.
- Says Elliott kept large amounts of cash at his home.
- Heard money was missing after the murder.
- When she learned her mother was missing, Waldron called Conte.
- Conte told her not to call police but she already had called authorities.
- Conte told her that her mother had met a man on the internet, had sex with him and killed him and was running away to Mexico, that she would never see her again.
Prosecution's 6th Witness - Trey Elliott, son of Carter Elliott and Lark Schwartz.
- Worked with his father at Detco.
- Got a call from a neighbor saying something was going on at his father's house. Then learned he had been murdered.
- When his mother was kidnapped by Conte, Trey called Conte.
- Begged him not to hurt his mother, that he had just lost his dad a month ago. Conte replied, "I'm sorry to hear that, I've made a terrible mistake. I'm going to kill myself."
Prosecution's 7th Witness - Richard Gathright, Lark Schwartz's brother.
- Lives in Florida.
- Attended Schwartz' and Conte's wedding.
- Exchanged a few emails and phone calls with Conte while the two were separated.
- Conte wanted help getting Schwartz back.
- During the kidnapping, Gathright called Conte.
- Conte said he had Schwartz drugged and tied to a chair.
- Gathright begged for her release.
Proseuction's 8th Witness - Rick Brown, Investigator in Nevada on Kidnapping case.
- Received a call, a woman had been kidnapped.
- Set up a perimeter around Conte's Carson City home.
- Police found Lark and arrested Conte.
- Police searched the residence, seized a number of documents and weapons.
- Found pictures of Carter, a note with Carter's phone number, address, where he worked.
- Found online search results for a map to Conway, Arkansas, police frequencies used by Conway police and fire departments each with a time stamp of May 11, 2002 (8 days before the murder)
- Found internet article on the murders dated May 27, 2002 ( 8 days after the murder)
- Found a note that said "Conway, HO JO's (Howard Johnson) Room 204, a list of local news channels and newspapers.
- Talked to a neighbor Mr. Pringle who is now deceased who told them he thought he saw Conte the weekend of the murders.
- Pringle told investigators he did not remember seeing him but Conte reminded him of it later.
- Found 9-10 gas containers in storage at Conte's Duck Creek, Utah home.