Local News

Federal trial date set for suspect in UNC student's death

Posted April 8, 2009
Updated May 25, 2009

— Demario James Atwater, one of the suspects in the March 2008 kidnapping and murder of UNC's student body president, will stand trial beginning Nov. 2, a federal judge has decided.

In an order filed Tuesday, U.S. District Judge James A. Beaty Jr. denied the request of Atwater's defense lawyers to delay the trial until January 2010.

Beaty found the defense had not asked for the additional time to prepare for the trial, but rather had argued that the trial should be continued "in order to accommodate holiday schedules for potential jurors in November and December."

A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for June 4 in the case.

Federal prosecutors in February outlined a plan to seek the death penalty against Atwater, alleging that he killed Eve Carson "to eliminate her as a possible witness to other offenses, including, at least, kidnapping, carjacking and robbery."

At the time of her death, Carson was a senior and president of the student body at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Chapel Hill investigators believe Atwater, 22, and Laurence Alvin Lovette Jr., 18, kidnapped Carson and forced her to withdraw $1,400 from ATMs before killing her in the early morning of March 5.

According to search warrants in the case, investigators believe both Atwater and Lovette shot Carson. Atwater was indicted in October on a federal carjacking charge resulting in death in connection with Carson's slaying.

Because Lovette was under 18 at the time of the crime of which he is accused, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling makes him ineligible for the death penalty. He has not been indicted on federal charges.

Both men face charges of murder, kidnapping, armed robbery and larceny in Orange County, where District Attorney Jim Woodall has said he will seek the death penalty for Atwater. Trial dates on the state charges have not been set.



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  • MsKimberly Apr 8, 2009

    Ha, xxxxxxxxxxxxx. I so feel you. The thing that is just forever upsetting is that she was such an accomplished and well rounded person. Only to be taken down by two flaws of society. It's so sad, it's hard to understand. I don't think I'll ever be able to make any sense out of this. :(

  • YA RECKON Apr 8, 2009



  • xxxxxxxxxxxxx Apr 8, 2009

    They want to delay the trial so as to not interfere with the jurors' November and December holiday schedules? Heck, put me on the jury and we'll have it wrapped up before Easter.

  • Ladybug1 Apr 8, 2009

    These two are a waste of oxygen. Why do we keep letting individuals like this pollute and sniff up our air?

  • pebbles262004 Apr 8, 2009

    I really hope that these boys get what they deserve. As for the 18 year old he knew what he was doing when he was doing it. He should be tried as an adult. He wanted to try to act like an adult