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Search warrants in UNC slaying could be unsealed in June or July

Posted May 21, 2008
Updated May 22, 2008

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— Orange County's district attorney says he would agree to unseal search warrants relating to the Eve Carson murder investigation within the next 30 to 45 days.

At that point, District Attorney Jim Woodall said, he does not think it will be necessary to protect information that has been used to conduct interviews in the ongoing investigation of the killing of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student body president.

Last month, Superior Court Judge R. Allen Baddour ordered the search warrants would stay sealed because affidavits attached to them contain descriptions and details about the case that could lead to the identification of confidential informants. Another hearing on the matter is scheduled for June 27.

Woodall has also requested Carson's autopsy be sealed, but Baddour has not decided on that request.

The court was to hear a motion Wednesday by the News & Observer to have the autopsy released, but the hearing was delayed until June 11 because the attorney for one of the suspects, Laurence Alvin Lovette Jr., had not yet received the papers.

Woodall also said Wednesday that he has nearly 2,000 pages of discovery files and that investigators have conducted more interviews in the case than any other he has ever worked on.

"There are police reports, investigative reports. There's been a lot of interviews done in this case," he said. "And there's still more interviews to do."

On March 5, police found Carson, 22, about a half-mile from the UNC campus while responding to reports of gunfire. Lovette, 17, and Demario James Atwater, 21, both of Durham, were arrested and charged with first-degree murder.

Authorities have not said how Carson died, but a stolen-vehicle report that police filed after her vehicle was found elsewhere in Chapel Hill indicated she was shot in the head.

Lovette was also in court Wednesday for a bond hearing. His attorney requested a $500,000 secured bond, but the judge denied the request. Lovette is being held without bond in the Durham County Jail.

A report by Durham City Manager Patrick Baker released Wednesday also reveals that Lovette should have been in jail at the time of Carson's slaying. He was not because police didn't file appropriate charges against Lovette during a November break-in, according to the report.

A hearing is scheduled for July 7 to determine whether Atwater, who's being held at Central Prison in Raleigh, will face the death penalty if he's convicted.

Lovette would not be eligible for the death penalty. A 2005 U.S. Supreme Court ruling prohibits executing anyone who was under 18 at the time of a crime for which an adult could be executed.

12 Comments

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  • unc83 May 22, 2008

    If the records are going to be unsealed, they need to have anything that refers to the informants blacked out or deleted. The informants should be protected, so people will continue to come forward in violent cases without fear of retaliation.

  • unc83 May 22, 2008

    Made In USA,

    Killers don't care about the death penalty, so capital punishment should be used as punishment, but it won't stop the killing. Texas executes more killers than anyone, and their murder rate keeps going up!!!

  • WHEEL May 22, 2008

    If the reports are given to the N&O they will find ssome way of twisting around the information to the killers benefit. If they are so interested let them attend the trial.

  • Made In USA May 21, 2008

    This murder must be punished accordingly, setting an example, putting fear in the minds of those out there that would consider doing the same thing in our tomorrows. I'm speaking of capital punishment and nothing less.

  • DrJ May 21, 2008

    Eve's death certainly appears to be gang activity, and I sincerely hope that's what's revealed. Gangs are growing and getting out of control in this state. It's time the general public got a wake up call.

  • gnew46 May 21, 2008

    Very well said PTA mom. I couldn't agree more. Thanks

  • PTA mom May 21, 2008

    Releasing the reports will not change the end result. Eve will still be dead and Lovette and Atwater will still be charged with the crime. Go to their trials if you want to hear more facts but please let the rest of us and especially those who were close to Eve not have to relive her murder every time the media brings it up.

  • gnew46 May 21, 2008

    Please, let this poor girl rest in peace and avoid placing any additional hardships on her family. As for the N&O, they are just trying to sell more newspapers by engaging in all of the morbibity they can. To Hello with them.

  • mondosinistro May 21, 2008

    Sounds like they'll be released about when was expected. As for the autopsy reports, I agree with others who have said that there is no reason to treat the issue any differently from that of other murder victims.

  • Common Sense Man May 21, 2008

    Sick. Leave them sealed.

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