Correction and clarification: While speaking of the alleged crimes at the suspect’s mother’s salon, an earlier version of this story that aired on television showed several businesses on Main Street in Samson. However, the mother’s salon was not located there. Those shops that were shown, including Sandy’s salon, were not near her salon and they had nothing to do with the business where the crimes allegedly occurred. WDHN apologizes and regrets the error.
SAMSON, Ala. (WDHN) — Zachery Carter was arrested in late September after a woman filed a report with the Samson Police Department in late July accusing Carter of using a cell phone with a camera to take pictures of her, while she was preparing to get in a tanning bed.
After investigating, police say another female victim was discovered on the recovered phone.
The tanning area where the alleged incident occurred was a salon owned by Carter’s mom Stephanie, the salon has since closed its doors.
Carter’s doctor says Carter was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at a young age and the doctor has seen him for 15 years.
“When you read it,” Zachery Carter’s attorney, David Harrison said. “It’s offensive, but as Paul Harvey says, ‘and for the rest of the story.'”
“Zachary is now aware that what he is being accused of is wrong, and I am confident there was no malicious intent here,” Carter’s doctor said.
Carter’s lawyer and mother want the community to be aware of Carter’s condition before striking any judgment
“Educate the area about that,” Harrison said. “Just how severe autism is. I think that people hear autism they really don’t understand it.”
Carter is charged with two counts of criminal surveillance and has bonded out of the Geneva County Jail and Carter’s lawyer believes that his condition should be taken into consideration in the courtroom.
“In the state of Alabama, the law is to punish you the mind, what your mind, how your mind operates,” Harrison said. “Well, if you have a disability such as severe autism then it should be strongly considered.”
Carter’s attorney says they have applied for pre-trial diversion in the case, but that they are willing to accept any responsibility, they just want people in the area to understand that Carter is a great young man and that he has done all he can do to overcome a severe disability.
“I would ask that the court strongly consider rehabilitation, community service, and/or probation as opposed to incarceration should he be found guilty of any unlawful activity in these matters,” Carter’s doctor said.