Eve Carson murder suspect due in court

Special hearing on state charges still on hold
February 18, 2009 5:06:52 AM PST
One of two suspects charged in the murder of UNC Student President Eve Carson will return to federal court next week.According to court documents filed Tuesday evening, Demario Atwater will be arraigned on February 25 in Greensboro because of a revised federal indictment that now includes kidnapping charges and allegations of torture. If convicted of federal kidnapping, carjacking, murder and firearm charges, Atwater faces the possibility of a federal death sentence.

Lawrence Lovette, Jr. was 17 at the time of the shooting, making him ineligible for the death penalty.

Police have said Atwater and Lovette kidnapped Carson near her home on the UNC Campus on March 5, 2008. The suspects are accused of holding Carson inside her SUV while driving to various ATMs to make cash withdrawals. Federal prosecutors believe Carson was shot at least four times before a final fatal shotgun blast to the head at the hands of Atwater. Federal court documents suggest Carson was killed to prevent her from identifying her alleged attackers.

Atwater and Lawrence Lovette, Jr. are both facing first-degree murder charges in Orange County where the crime was committed.

A special hearing in the case has yet to be scheduled. Attorneys for Lovette and Atwater want access to records that are traditionally kept confidential. Defense attorneys are interested in the Crime Stoppers report related to the case, specifically the identity of callers who received a financial reward for information, according to prosecutors.

The attorneys are also seeking access to a gang information database. It allows law enforcement to exchange confidential information about suspected gang members. But, a judge would have to determine whether specific information should be turned over to Lovette and Atwater’s defense team, said Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall in an interview last November.


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