Beverly Latiker’s story: She earned life imprisonment after shooting a man

Beverly Latiker is the subject of a petition that’s been trending over the past month or so. Latiker’s daughter, Nicole Williams, launched the petition two years ago, but it took time to gain traction. The petition claims that authorities jailed Beverly in 1983 when pregnant with Nicole. 

“She was 19 years old came here with a pimp and committed a crime bc she wanted to ride for her man,” the petition reads. “Her pimp turned her in for reward money he didn’t get.”

Williams hopes that the story gets enough attention to force Arkansas Governor Hutchinson to sign Beverly’s clemency papers. 

Per Beverly’s appeal, she confessed to the murder of Raymond Allen in a motel. She wrote that Allen picked her up in a car as she walked down the street. Allen then bought two beers before checking into a motel. Beverly’s confession read:

“He reached and got my hand (not in rough type manner). I told him to let me finish my beer first. We got to struggling & I pushed him down on the bed, & when he sat up, I had pulled my gun (a 38 cal.) and I shot him. After he was shot I stood there for a while a then I got his wallet off the dresser and I went outside.”

Beverly then got a lift to a trailer residence, where she emptied $77 from Allen’s wallet. Police found Allen’s driver’s license and identification in the trailer. 

Latiker retracted her confession during the trial, stating that a man named Charles Lewis arranged the meeting between her and Lewis. She claimed that Lewis barged into the motel room and shot Allen. 

She got possession of Allen’s wallet after Lewis dropped it as he ran away. The jury believed Beverly’s first account, finding her guilty of first-degree murder. The court sentenced Beverly to life in prison. 

On appeal, Beverly argued that the facts and proof available pointed to second-degree murder rather than first-degree. In affirming the conviction, the court said:

“We find no merit in the appellant’s argument that the proof was insufficient nor any other prejudicial error in the matters that have been abstracted.”

Beverly has been in prison for nearly four decades. She’s spent two-thirds of her life in prison and is a model prisoner. 

PressReader equated her to Resident Advisor in a dorm due to the help she offers other inmates, especially new inmates. Beverly counsels and comforts new inmates as they get used to prison life. She explained:

“You see over time that the women do look at other women that take care of themselves. And you’ll see those that don’t do anything with themselves – lay in bed, don’t do anything – start wearing a little bit of makeup and start feeling better about themselves.”