Local News

Eve Carson search warrants will remain under wraps for now

Posted April 29, 2008

— Search warrants related to the investigation into Eve Carson's murder must remain under seal, a Superior Court judge ruled Tuesday.

Earlier this month, The Durham Herald-Sun asked a court to make six search warrants related to the University of North Carolina senior's March 5 shooting death publicly available.

Following a hearing Monday on the motion, Judge Allen Baddour wrote in his ruling that the affidavits contain description and details about the case that could lead to the identification of confidential informants.

"Both confidential informants have been threatened (by persons other than the defendant or co-defendant) and both feel that their safety is at risk and that risk would be increased if their identities were widely known," he wrote.

Baddour also set a new hearing date on the matter for June 27 to determine whether the documents could be released then. Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall had asked the court Monday that they remain under seal for 60 more days.

Demario James Atwater, 21, and Laurence Alvin Lovette Jr., 17, are each charged with first-degree murder in Carson's death. Police found the 22-year-old's body about a half-mile from the UNC campus while responding to reports of gunfire.

Baddour said he considered releasing parts of the warrants, but rejected doing so because disclosing even part of the warrants and the inventories of items seized would interfere with the investigation.

He also rejected redacting portions of the warrant – an alternative that the Herald-Sun's attorneys proposed on Monday – saying it would be necessary to redact "such a significant portion of the documents so as to render the exercise meaningless."

"The public has a right to information in criminal proceedings, but not in this specific case at this specific time when it interferes with the public’s interest in the investigation of crime, or the defendant’s right (and public’s right, for that matter) to a fair process, free from undue prejudice," Baddour wrote.


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  • doubletrouble Apr 30, 2008

    The reason why the "defendents" have "rights"..is because due to our laws, which govern our nation, every individual charged with a crime, is presumed to be innocent...until proven guilty via a jury of their peers. NOW...once the metal hits the meat, and after these people are found guilty(if they are), then the process of stripping them of any rights at all, should begin. If given Life, it should life of HARD LABOR, not weight lifting, basketball, and TV Watching. Death would not be like putting your favorite pup to sleep either. Hanging, Electric Chair, or Firing Squad..and that decision is from the victim's family, on how it should be carried out. Date of Execution=Date of Crime. Max time on Death Row should only be 1 year.

  • Made In USA Apr 29, 2008

    It's ashame that we must go through the long court process to give these killers a fair trial. They are guilty of killing Eve, who is now only a memory to us all, and should be swiftly sentenced to a deserving punishment of the death penalty.

  • OSX Apr 29, 2008

    Any of you remember Amy Geissinger? She was a very young pretty girl that died in a terrible accident about 10 years ago out at Duke. I don't know why I have never been able to forget her name. Eve Carson's name is going to be the same.

  • DukeMoney Apr 29, 2008

    Hmmm, a judge who doesn't kowtow to the press! Watch the Herald-Sun and the N&O fry him when he's up for re-election.

    The criminal judicial process is all about due process and the proper and timely disclosure of reliable information to an impartial jury, not about out-of-control trials in the press before a jury is convened. The press is not the official watchdog of the trial courts and their procedures. It's the NC Court of Appeals, the NC Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • burns44 Apr 29, 2008

    What I fail to understand is how the "defendants" still have rights to protect. That amazes me. They ignored the "rights" of their victim/s - No one seems to care about that - yet, we must still protect their rights? I figure when they decide to take the life of another (first degree murder...killing someone ON PURPOSE, etc.), they give up any "rights" they have. Guess I will never understand this system we have.

  • azure28 Apr 29, 2008

    It is unusual that neither the police nor district attorney's office has commented at all on how many wounds Ms. Carson sustained. That usually comes out pre-trial in any case. They seemed reluctant in this case to even acknowledge the fatal shot location (to the temple), and that was only divulged as an aside in car theft recovery report.

    Why the secrecy?

  • hated Apr 29, 2008

    i thought they said this wasn't gang related. the 2 killers are in jail who is going to hurt the informants? i think its more the killers lawyer dosent want the information out.

  • tarheelalum Apr 29, 2008

    I just think absolutley nothing should be done to jeopardize the case against these murderers or the safety of the informants. The defense attorneys will already be filing motions regarding pre-trial publicity, etc. so any further information should certainly not be released. The last thing anyone wants is for these two to walk free or other people to e hurt.

  • mondosinistro Apr 29, 2008

    Gork, there's a certain concept you seem to be having trouble with--TIME. This will all come out eventually. If there's anything improper in the warrants, there will be accountability. Besides, the warrants HAVE been seen already, by a branch of gov't independent of the police--the judiciary. Between those two things, you've got as much democracy as any place can afford to allow.

  • clintoflannagan Apr 29, 2008

    Sorta reminds me of a few years ago when the Orlando Sentinel tried (thankfully) unsuccesfully to get the autopsy report/photos after Earnhardt was killed.