Attorney: Doctor in Utah when murders happened |

Attorney: Doctor in Utah when murders happened

by Kurt Hildebrand

A doctor accused of kidnapping his wife and questioned in the shooting death of her ex-husband had car trouble in Utah on the day of the murder, his attorney said Friday.

Dr. Richard Conte met Wednesday with Arkansas authorities in connection with the May 19 shooting deaths of Carter Elliot, 49, and Tim Robertson, 25.

“Dr. Conte met with the detective from Arkansas and a deputy from Conway, Ark.,” attorney Pat Walsh said Friday. “He cooperated completely and answered every question. He could not have cooperated more.”

According to Walsh, Conte was waiting for his vehicle to be repaired after it broke down in Duck Creek, Utah, about 30 miles north of Cedar City.

Walsh said Conte’s clutch went out on May 17, and on May 20 his truck was towed to Cedar City where it was repaired at Lunt Motors.

The vehicle was not repaired until May 21, Walsh said. Phone records substantiate his client’s story, the defense attorney said.

“This is a guy who has never been arrested in his life; he’s never been in trouble in his life,” Walsh said. “This is an aberration in an otherwise exemplary life.”

Conte, 54, is being held in Douglas County Jail in lieu of $1 million bail in the kidnapping of his ex-wife Lark Gathright-Elliott from her Utah home.

Conte has been indicted on a federal kidnapping charge and also faces a kidnapping charge in Douglas County.

Conte has lived in the Carson City-area for the last 12 years, where he worked with Carson-Tahoe Emergency Physicians, a private medical group.