Judge resentences Lovette to life in prison without parole

Laurence Lovette
June 3, 2013 6:00:09 PM PDT
A judge sentenced Laurence Lovette to life in prison without the possibility of parole Monday for the 2008 murder of UNC student body president Eve Carson.

The sentence was imposed despite a personal plea to the judge to reconsider.

"You know, people make mistakes," said Lovette. "Nobody's perfect. I'm not the monster that y'all made me out to be."

Earlier in the day, Judge Allen Baddour denied Lovette's request for a new jury trial as well. He said he would make the decision on his own.

In April, the judge delayed Lovette's resentencing because an expert witness was not available for the hearing.

Lovette was convicted in December 2011 of first-degree murder in Carson's 2008 shooting death. A jury also found Lovette guilty of kidnapping, robbery with firearm, felony larceny and possession of stolen goods.

Following the jury's verdict, Judge Baddour sentenced Lovette to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The North Carolina Court of Appeals later ruled Lovette must be resentenced because mitigating factors were not considered before he received his mandatory life sentence.

In its ruling, the Court of Appeals said a change in the law must be retroactively applied to Lovette's case.

Since Lovette's conviction, the U.S Supreme court has ruled that a mandatory sentence of life without the possibility of parole for a defendant who was under the age of 18 when he committed his crime constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.

To comply with the high court ruling, the North Carolina General Assembly changed the law to allow judges to consider mitigating circumstances.

Prosecutors said during the trial that Lovette and Demario Atwater kidnapped Carson from her Chapel Hill home on March 5, 2008 and then drove her around in her SUV to various ATMs in Chapel Hill and Durham to withdraw cash from her accounts. They then shot her several times and left her body on a Chapel Hill street.

Also in 2011, Atwater took a plea deal on federal charges related to the Carson's kidnapping, carjacking and murder, and is currently serving a life sentence.

In his appeal, Lovette also argued that his indictment on one charge was defective and there were problems with jury selection - amongst other things. The appeals court rejected all of his claims outside of the sentencing issue.

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