The trial for the horrific murder of an American Eagle employee on Black Friday began this week in Fort Worth, TX. 27-year-old old Carter Carol Cervantez is on trial for capital murder in the killing of Ashlea Ann Harris, whose body was found on November 28, 2014. Cervantez’s 21 year-old boyfriend Clarence David Mallory has also been charged.
Police argue that the couple beat Harris and then set her body on fire, taking the keys to the Hulen Mall American Eagle Outfitters store in order to steal up to $50,000 in profits from a Black Friday sale. Mallory and Cervantez reportedly also stole $18,000 from the same store in August of 2014.
In her testimony, Cervantez describes abusive behavior from Mallory, who she says threatened to kill her family if she didn’t comply with his orders. She recalls being raped multiple times by friends of Mallory’s and being coerced into the robbery. Via the Star-Telegram:
Cervantez testified that she and Mallory went to Cleburne and rented a motel room on Nov. 28, but later that day Mallory had her drive to Hulen Mall while he toyed with a 9 mm Glock handgun he held in his lap.
Cervantez said Mallory put the gun in her face and tried to make her steal money from the store. Mallory threatened to hurt her parents and relatives if she did not do what she was told, Cervantez said. And when she did not do what she was told, they returned to their apartment, where Mallory’s friends raped her repeatedly, Cervantez testified.
Prosecutors for the case showed surveillance video of Cervantez buying shovels and other gear on November 21st, with the intention of digging a grave for Harris. Communication between Mallory and Cervantez led police to a shallow hole in a town more than a hundred miles away. Cervantez claims that Mallory dug the grave for her.
Both Cervantez and Mallory worked with Harris at the American Eagle store before being fired. Like Harris, Cervantez was an assistant manager. Mallory is awaiting his trial on the same charges.
Image via Getty.