Local News

Cell Phone Helped Link UNC Murder Suspect to Duke Slaying

Posted March 14, 2008
Updated March 19, 2008

— A cell phone helped link Laurence Alvin Lovette, the second suspect charged with murder in the death of UNC Student Body President Eve Carson, to the shooting death of a Duke graduate student.

Durham County Assistant District Attorney Tracey Cline said during a brief court proceeding on Friday that the phone and an iPod stolen from Abhijit Mahato's apartment the night he was killed was found on Lovette when police detained him Thursday morning in the Carson case.

Lovette, 17, is being held under a $3 million bond on a first-degree murder charge in Mahato's Jan. 18 slaying and is being held without bond on a first-degree murder charge in Carson's March 5 death.

According to the arrest warrant in the Mahato case, Lovette allegedly stole a cell phone, wallet and an iPod – with a combined value of about $300 – before Mahato was shot to death inside his apartment at 1600 Anderson St.

"There was information that investigators obtained that the victim's telephone had been used … the night or early morning he was murdered," Cline said.

Investigators learned that numbers on the phone traced back to a number associated with Demario James Atwater, Cline said.

Atwater, 21, is not charged in Mahato's death, but Durham Chief Jose Lopez said Thursday police were looking to see if he might have been involved.

Durham police have said, at this point, they do not believe the students' deaths were gang-related, and Chapel Hill police have said they are investigating all possibilities.

Lovette's criminal record includes charges of breaking and entering and larceny, for which he was on probation when he was arrested Thursday.

He was due in a Durham courtroom this month on charges of first-degree burglary, felony larceny of a motor vehicle and felony larceny after breaking and entering, all related to two crimes from February.

Atwater, who has a record dating to 2004, had been in Wake County Superior Court on a felony probation violation March 3, but the hearing was rescheduled because of a clerical error.

Correction officials said that, had the hearing occurred, Atwater could have been sent back to jail.


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  • gnew46 Mar 14, 2008

    Race is not the issue, repeated criminal behavior is the issue. We need to stand up and take back our streets from criminals.

  • syracuseinwonderland Mar 14, 2008


    I hear you and I agree with you 100%. Great post.

  • tab580642 Mar 14, 2008

    as stated in one way or another by 90% of the posters here, these guys are definitely losers and that's without any doubt. with that said, I have to agree with what another poster said about the level of press that this case is getting compared to a case that may have been similar in nature but with a black victim from A&T, NCCU, etc. The fact is that on most days WRAL, ABC 11, etc. has spent the 1st 5-7minutes of their broadcast on Eve Carson. When the young lady who attended NCCU was found dead on 540 they didn't even spend 5-7 minutes on this story the 1st day it happened, much less the days beyond. I think this further proves black people's complaints that the value of our lives are consider less than most any other race in the world.
    I am EQUALLY SORRY FOR THE LOSS OF ALL VICTIMS OF CRIMES!!! Not being negative y'all, I'm just speaking the facts.

  • bronzegoddess40 Mar 14, 2008

    I wonder if we all could just stop bickering and do some serious discussing about what is going on in the country that we live in. We all need to come together and see what we can do to stop mess like this from happening. Let's leave race out of it on both sides and work together for a solution. Does anybody agree with that?

  • Tired of thoughtlessness Mar 14, 2008


  • Tired of thoughtlessness Mar 14, 2008

    Lovette actually has two myspace pages. One profile picture is his mugshot from his capture and the last login date was today. I would assume there is somone else monitoring his pages.

  • badjudgement Mar 14, 2008

    Any chance he is involved with the lady delivering newspapers in Raleigh who was killed?

  • Tired of thoughtlessness Mar 14, 2008

    "If this were an NCCU, A & T, Spellman or Fayetteville State University student that was murdered would she get this much press attention and outrage?"

    Probably not, I think the attention this case is receiving is due to the fact that this girl actually would have contributed to society in a positive manner.
    Bob Sidel

    So are you saying students from either of these universities would not contribute positively?

  • ridgerunner Mar 14, 2008

    Two murders but no death penalty thanks to our wonderful supreme court ruling no if under 17. And our state legislature is sitting on its thumbs over how the death penalty is carried out.

  • grenlyn1 Mar 14, 2008

    Ok folks..which was it? A conflict in the schedule or a clerical error. Either someone can't get their facts straight or someone is lying here. The public is in no mood for this mess. We are not going to take it anymore!!!!!!