More information about parole officer released

March 26, 2008 4:51:38 PM PDT
There is more information about a story Eyewitness News broke Tuesday night.

Questionable practices by the parole officer Lawrence Lovette, Jr. were uncovered in an Eyewitness News investigation. Lovette's parole officer has an arrest record that includes numerous charges.

One of those charges, a DWI, is pending at the Wake County Courthouse.

Eyewitness News has also obtained probation records filed by the officer in the Lovette case. Records that were entered only after Lovette was identified as a suspect in two murders.

Before being arrested for the murder of Eve Carson, 17-year-old Lawrence Lovette was on probation.

Although he wasn't considered an adult by the courts until age 16, he had already racked up a lengthy record.

But according to documents obtained by Eyewitness News, even though Lovette's supervision was handed off to a probation officer in mid-January, notes weren't entered into a computer for two months.

"Certainly, we would hope that our officers would enter those things on a more timely basis," Keith Acree, N.C. Department of Correction, said.

Acree acknowledges that the records appear to show Lovette's probation officer never had face-to-face contact with him.

One entry indicates the officer did speak with Lovette twice by phone.

The last time was March 3, just two days before Carson was murdered.

Lovette wasn't identified as a suspect in the case until March 13. That's the same date the officer entered almost all of the notes now listed on the state's computer system.

"Our hope would be that they would enter those notes within a day or two on a pretty quick basis after they make the contacts," Acree said. "In this case it appeared there were several weeks between the time contacts were made and they were entered into the computer."

Lovette's probation officer has more trouble that the policy violations at work. Chalita Thomas, 26, also has personal problems.

She's been charged with 11 crimes over five years in four counties.

Those charges include carrying a concealed weapon and two DWIs. The latest drunken driving charge also got her in trouble at work.

"She was placed on administrative duty shortly after we learned in the central office about the pending DWI charge," Acree said.

But Thomas' work is only part of an investigation by the state Division of Community Correction

That investigation is focusing on the supervision of not only Lovette, but Demario Atwater, the other defendant in the Carson murder case. He was also on probation.

"We're hoping we'll be able to release quite a bit of information later this week," Acree said. "We're very close to wrapping that investigation up. And we hope to be able to talk publicly about that as much as we can very soon."

Part of the state's investigation is also looking at Atwater's probation records.

Eyewitness News looked at the record of Atwater's current probation officer but found nothing but a speeding ticket.


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