Local News

Police Capture 2nd Suspect in UNC Student's Slaying

Posted March 13, 2008
Updated March 19, 2008

— Heavily armed Durham police, surrounding a house before dawn Thursday, captured the second of two men charged with murder in the shooting of the student body president at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Laurence Alvin Lovette Jr., 17, surrendered to officers from the department's Selective Enforcement Team outside a house on Cook Road at 4:16 a.m. Police had surrounded the house hours before after receiving an anonymous tip through the Durham County Sheriff's Office. (Watch video of authorities taking Lovette to a police car as news photographers follow him.)

SET officers, the Hostage Negotiation Team, Criminal Investigations/Homicide and the Mobile Command Post responded after officers set up the perimeter at the house.

Negotiators worked for more than an hour and a half to communicate with Lovette. He began talking with them after he was provided with a telephone, police said. He later agreed to surrender peacefully.

Lovette's arrest came about 24 hours after Durham police arrested the other suspect at another Durham home. They took Demario James Atwater, 21, of 414-B Macon St., into custody at about 5 a.m. Wednesday during a raid at a house on Rosedale Avenue.

He spent most of Wednesday being questioned at the Chapel Hill Police Department, and detectives charged him Wednesday afternoon with one count of first-degree murder in the March 5 slaying of the 22-year-old Carson.  (Watch video of Atwater’s bail arraignment.)

Wednesday, police had raided a house on Shepherd Street looking for Lovette. They did not find him then and continued searching through Wednesday evening.

In announcing Atwater's arrest on Wednesday, Chapel Hill Police Chief Brian J. Curran said, "This is still an active and ongoing investigation." He declined to comment on specific details about the killing.

Curran said Atwater and Lovette were the men captured in two sets of surveillance photos made public in the days following Carson's death. Investigators received hundreds of calls because of their release, he said.

Lovette was identified as the driver in ATM surveillance photos. Police were trying to pin down whether he was driving Carson's blue Toyota Highlander at the time.

Two surveillance photos from a convenience store show a man, whom police said was Atwater, inside at the time an attempt was made to use Carson’s debit card at an ATM in that store.

Atwater has a criminal record dating to 2004, including charges of robbery, drug possession and resisting arrest. He was due in court earlier this month on a breaking-and-entering charge.

In 2006, he was sentenced to 24 months' probation for possession of a firearm as a felon. He had a court date on that charge the week before Carson's death.

Court records also show Lovette has a criminal background, with charges of breaking and entering and larceny. He is on probation for larceny and is due in Durham court this month on charges of first-degree burglary, felony larceny of a motor vehicle and felony larceny after breaking and entering.

158 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Oldest First
View all
  • newavegurl Mar 17, 8:42 p.m.

    And everyone brings up the parents of the 17 yr old. His mother gave up on him when he was younger, and his father who was a professer died when he was younger. People always judge without ever knowing the truth. Also it is know that they will be convicted because they will not have a good legal team and they are just two black boys already in the system with (what is perceived) nothing to lose. And in the land of Old White $$$$ Chapel Hill....please this is almost a joke.

  • newavegurl Mar 17, 8:34 p.m.

    Can I just say that no one on here knows the facts. At all. Only one is guilty of actually killing her. And the reason for the minor being on probation is becasue he is a minor. If anyone knew them, they would know that the younger guy is so polite and respectful to people he know. He did not have the best childhood. But does anyone one realize how sorry and pathetic the Durham justice system is. There was another murder in Durham that time and no one paid it any mind. The innocent victim of a drive by. This case as well as the Duke case gets so much media attention becasue of the privledge white kids involved. Durham is not a horrible place but even its own gov't does not try to make it better. If it was not her, it would have been another person regardless. All this just shows that these kids shove their privlege in underprivledged kids faces, and they do not know how to react positively. This is a dog eat dog town and until there is more out reach it is going to continue to happen.

  • Tired of your excuses Mar 13, 5:40 p.m.

    I guess another one of my comments has been censored. Why is it that some people think that if you don't talk about something/bring up a valid point, the situation will go away?

  • Dr. Dataclerk Mar 13, 4:50 p.m.

    Just lil ole me: Love your comment. Treat all victims the same. Don't have picks. You said it well. I guess it depends on who you are and it should not be like that. We are all humans and need to be treated as such.

  • Just lil ole me Mar 13, 4:38 p.m.

    If you want to know the true shame of this, why are all you people up in arms over this? If this had been some no name person from Durham that they had murdered most of you wouldn't be here commenting on the death penalty, etc.

    Yes it is sad as who the victim was, but crimes like this happen every day and if you all, and the media, had the same reaction then perhaps something would change.

  • REALY Mar 13, 3:12 p.m.

    guilty utill proven inesent lol

  • JuanGrande v3.0 Mar 13, 2:55 p.m.

    These fellas seem like such nice, young men. I'm shocked at their behavior. Let's put them in general population and let the other convicts take care of them.

  • ratherbnnc Mar 13, 2:20 p.m.

    dataclerk: Sounds great but im afraid you may put ExLax in mine! LOL

  • Dr. Dataclerk Mar 13, 2:09 p.m.

    ratherbnnc: So I have a friend. I can bake you a Chocolate Bar Swirl Cake. It is delicious. I am a great cake baker, which is one of my joys. :)

  • ratherbnnc Mar 13, 1:59 p.m.

    atherbnnc: You love my comments too. Shame on you for not saying so. lol

    dataclerk

    Just bake me a chocolate cake with sprinkles.. lol

More...