Local News

Search Warrants Released in Duke Grad Student's Death

Posted March 25, 2008
Updated March 26, 2008

— New search warrants in the case of a slain Duke University graduate student show police arrested one of the suspects based on a tip from a friend.

In a search warrant dated March 13, Durham police said they received information from a reliable source and friend of Laurence Alvin Lovette Jr. indicating he was inside a home at 1914 Cook Road.

"The subject reported that she followed Lovette to this residence and watched as he entered alone," according to a probable cause affidavit. "She advised that she maintained constant visual of this residence until officers arrived."

Lovette, 17, surrendered to police hours after the warrant was issued.

At the time of his arrest, he was wanted on a first-degree murder charge in the March 5 shooting death of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Student Body President Eve Carson.

A few hours after Lovette was detained, police charged him with murder in the Jan. 18 death of Abhijit Mahato, 29, a doctoral student who was found shot to death inside his apartment near the Duke campus.

In a March 24 search warrant for DNA and photographs of Lovette, police said that a search of the crime scene yielded several DNA samples "presumably left on the scene by subjects other than the victim."

Another man, Stephen Oates, 19, of Anthony Drive, is also charged in Mahato's death.

Lovette is in jail under a $3 million bond in Mahato's death; he is in jail without bond in Carson's death.


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  • ratherbnnc Mar 26, 2008

    According to the article - the probation officer has had 11criminal charges against her....carrying concealed and DWIs. When did we allow probation OFFICERS to have criminal histories and keep their jobs?

    well brain surgeon if you will read the article and follow along, the Probation Officer got the charges after she was already hired. She just didnt report the arrest to her supervisors. She will no doubt lose her job now!

  • ratherbnnc Mar 26, 2008

    Well if I ever witness a crime, I am going to be apprehensive about going to the police after reading this. This sucks that they would tell the media about this witness !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I dont think they told the media about anything to do with the search warrant. After search warrants are served and returned to the Clerk of Courts office, they are public record unless sealed by a court order. It appears the search warrant wasnt sealed by a Superior Court Judge.

  • Run_Forrest_Run Mar 26, 2008


    According to the article - the probation officer has had 11criminal charges against her....carrying concealed and DWIs. When did we allow probation OFFICERS to have criminal histories and keep their jobs?

  • NCMOMof3 Mar 26, 2008

    I agree with the posters on here that are saying the media is putting out too much information on the "informatant" that led to the capture of this dredge of our society but we should all be careful in wanting all of the details all of the time, whether it's a murder case or having to do with our troops overseas. Too much information always puts someone in harms way

  • piperchuck Mar 26, 2008

    "Why does he have a bond for one of his murders but no bond on the other? Two precious lives were lost and each should be treated the same."

    Two different court systems and two different murders. Trying to comment on why one Judge set bail at $3M and the other denied bail would be speculation. Perhaps the evidence against him for the Orange County murder is more solid than for the Durham one?

  • Wifeandkids Mar 26, 2008

    Did y'all see this story at WTVD? "Probation officer never met with Lovette", http://abclocal.go.com/wtvd/story?section=news/local&id=6042699

  • luvbailey Mar 26, 2008

    Tired of thoughtlessness, google Janine Sutphin and you will get several hits. As I recall Petrick was the #1 suspect in his wife's disappearence. Durham police were sure they had the right man, they just didn't have the body. In the meantime he was sitting in the Durham jail on a charge of forging checks on his missing wife's account. His bond was initally high, but kept being lowered at the request of his attorney. When it became apparent that he couldn't even post a 1500 bond (either from personal funds or through a bail bondsman) the judge released him on his own recognizance. Fortunately he stayed in Durham just long enough for the police to find the body and he was re-arrested. As a Durham crime victim myself, i have spent many hours investigating Durham's pre-trial release program. I could easily have been an Eve Carson, but for the grace of God. My assailant had made a mockery out of Durham's pre-trial program - arrested, released, arrested, released,over and over again.

  • iamforjustice Mar 26, 2008

    Well...if the person was supposed to be anonymous..."she" aint no more. Why couldn't WRAL say "he" to throw this boy off track. Now when he gets out in a few months or years...he will know who to come after next. Good job WRAL.

  • anneonymousone Mar 26, 2008

    Rather than assuming that the informant is "a woman scorned," it seems more logical to believe that even friends of (accused) thieves find murder inexcuseable.

  • Tired of thoughtlessness Mar 26, 2008

    Can you give more info on the Robert Petrick case? I googled Robert Petrick-nc and nothing came up.