Man found guilty in murder of UNC student body president
Laurence Alvin Lovette Jr. was found guilty of first-degree murder.
December 20th, 2011
11:18 AM ET

Man found guilty in murder of UNC student body president

A jury has found a man guilty in the 2008 murder of  University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student body president Eve Carson.

Laurence Alvin Lovette Jr. was found guilty of first-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping, first-degree armed robbery, felonious larceny, and felonious possession of stolen goods.

An autopsy report showed that Carson, an honors student, had multiple gunshot wounds when she was found lying on a Chapel Hill street. The autopsy report listed six gunshot wounds but said two of the wounds were probably from the same bullet.

Court documents released in the North Carolina case said Carson was taken from her apartment and forced to provide her abductors with ATM access to her bank account before she was shot to death in the early hours of March 5.

A grand jury indicted Demario James Atwater on October 27, 2009 on federal charges of carjacking resulting in death, carrying and using firearms in relation to carjacking, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and possessing a short-barreled shotgun not properly registered to him. He also faces state first-degree murder charges in Orange County, North Carolina, along with Lovette.

The informant said the two men drove Carson to an ATM, obtained her PIN from her and then shot her. The witness told police that Atwater said the two got about $1,400 from Carson's account. Bank records show that was approximately the amount taken from the account over a two-day period, the documents said.

Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall has said he also will seek the death penalty against Atwater. Authorities cannot seek the death penalty against Lovette because he was 17 at the time of the slaying.

The Athens, Georgia, native was a pre-medicine student double-majoring in political science and biology. She was a recipient of the university's prestigious Morehead Scholarship and a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society, according to UNC.

soundoff (254 Responses)
  1. fiskenmann

    No, it wasn't the fact that she was white. Uh uh, they just didn't have the patience to wait for a black person who had money in his/her bank account to come along.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Petey

      Oh no you did-ent!!!!!!!!

      December 20, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Easy

    Surplus 9mm round for 10 cents to his head. Bill his family for the 10 cents. Done. Problem solved.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      No reason to bill his family...I'm sure you'd get plenty of donations.

      December 20, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anon

      I believe China does that. It isn't a bad idea.

      December 20, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Anon

    My belief is it should not matter if someone is 17 years of age or younger when they commit a heinous crime such as murder when deciding on pursuing the Death Penalty.

    Those under the age of 18 that act out of the law and deprive another of his/her life, knowing full well the consequences of his/her actions should be extinguished with. They serve no function to society and are culpable for their actions. They should be tried as an adult and sanctioned as an adult.

    These "rehabilitation centers" aimed at "addressing and correcting the problems" of convicts are pointless and proven to not work whatsoever. They are a lenient, less instrusive way of enforcing the law that bring about no positive outcome. I work in the legal profession, and I speak with many judges who tell me of "rehabilitated repeat offenders", that is they are deemed "rehabilitated" then return only to be sent back to the center. This continues ad nausem.

    There is no counter to the argument that the recidivism rate for convicts executed is 0 percent. That is an ironclad, air-tight fact. Moreover, sanctioning, such as the Death Penalty, does more than deter crime (that argument can go on), but sanctioning also reprimands and punishes the wrongdoer. If the system slaps a murderer on the wrist, society will be deprived of justice. Society watches and does expect that wrongdoers be punished effectively and fully. Victims of crimes are always left with the short end of the stick, as there is no benefit for them, but they do expect the criminal to be punished. Whether it deters future crimes, that depends on man factors (heat of the moment crimes, etc.)

    December 20, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • dakota

      The problem with the death penalty is that DNA evidence has shown that many are falsely convicted. Further, it ends up costing the state too much money dealing with all the appeals.

      The most humane and realistic thing would be to setup a prison colony in Antarctica, with no return boats. Just drop off supplies once a year. I am very serious. They should never be part of human society again.

      December 20, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  4. truefax

    Kill them, publicly. That will drop the crime rate, as a nation we're too squeemish.. We used to have public hanging, flogging, and stocks. Sent them to trail, put them in stocks, have the watch as their gallows are built, then put it on PPV.
    Oh yeah, crime would all but stop and you'd have a revenue source, win win.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  5. BOMBO

    Maybe they should just execute people as soon as they are found guilty of murder.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • tiredangryandarmed

      no a better idea is let them hang around for a while. A felon in possesion of not only a firearm but also an illegally sawed off shotgun. Oh oh I know the answer. Let's make guns illegal. That way only the murdering dregs of our society will be able to defend themselves. I think they can be reformed. They didn't know what they were doing. Read about the case. They were on the ATM cameras with her card.

      December 20, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gvern

      Nah, I think we should just keep them in prison for the next 15-20 years while they appeal to everyone about how they had a bad childhood and didn't know what they were doing was wrong.

      December 20, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  6. tiredangryandarmed

    Kill them both in a quick fashion that doesn't require any additional burden on the law abidding citizens.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • mac

      Better yet, let her family pull the switch

      December 20, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sara

      Eve was anti-death penalty, and her family asked that the prosecutors respect her wishes. (The prosecutors have declined, in the case of the other guy.)

      December 20, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  7. James

    What a promising life taken away by useless trash. Until we really get serious about criminal and crime in this country poor innocent people will continue to die. We seem to take too much sympathy to the criminals. Look at California, where the death penalty is abolished. Governor Jerry Brown has released over 200 convicted killers. What message does that send????

    December 20, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Garedawg

      Actually, we do have the the death penalty in California.

      December 20, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • PK

      Sorry James but the death penalty is alive and well here in Cali... It just seems like it has been abolished because it takes like 17 years for the sentence to actually be carried out... Texas, now there is a state who knows how to take care of business.

      December 20, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. supersticious

    Throw them into a volcano to appease the mighty volcano God.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  9. JT

    This was not accidental, it was not a crime of passion, it was "I don't want to be caught so I'm killing the witness"
    This was a decision based on that persons values. There can be no excuse for that. The deterrent should fit the crime
    theft of 1400, 1400 dollars + a premium on the terror inflicted. A life for a life.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Meya

    Hate crime no. Two lowlifes, yes. Here in NC we are aware that Lovette faces charges for killing a Duke University student, two months prior to killing Eve Carson. That Duke U. student was Indian. These guys were just out to get some fast cash & didn't care who they hurt.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  11. WOT

    Truefax, they should sart with you, in that you are Psycoly MAD!

    December 20, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mitch

    Execute him now.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Portland tony

    Was this a crime of opportunity? I don't know. But she was murdered because her executioners thought she could ID them. There are some loose ends in this case, but I agree with most comments....a quick execution is the only way to rehabilitate a cold blooded killer.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  14. mark

    I don't care that he was 17 at the time – execute him anyways – right now.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Karin

    Drag him out into the public and let's have our way with him.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
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