Durham, N.C. — Laurence Lovette Jr., one of two men convicted in the death of former University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student body president Eve Carson, will be resentenced April 26 in Orange County District Court, a judge ruled Friday.
Lovette was initially sentenced Dec. 20, 2011, to life in prison without the possibility of parole after being convicted of first-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping and first-degree armed robbery in Carson's shooting death nearly five years ago.
But the North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled earlier this month that he must be resentenced because of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling about automatic life sentences of offenders under age 18 at the time.
Lovette, 22, was 17 at the time of Carson’s death. The popular senior from Athens, Ga., was found dead in a neighborhood near the UNC campus on the morning of March 5, 2008.
The Supreme Court ruled that judges must consider mitigating circumstances before sentencing someone under the age of 18 to life without the possibility of parole.
In response, North Carolina lawmakers passed a law that says the sentence should be life in prison with parole if someone under the age of 18 is convicted of first-degree murder solely on the basis of what's known as the felony murder rule.
In all other cases, the court must hold a hearing to consider mitigating circumstances, such as the defendant's age, immaturity and ability to benefit from rehabilitation, the Appeals Court said.
Lovette was convicted of first-degree murder not only on the basis of the felony rule but also on the basis of malice, premeditation and deliberation.