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Carson search warrants will be released

Posted June 27, 2008

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— A Superior Court judge ruled Friday that six search warrants relating to the Eve Carson homicide case can be unsealed.

Judge Allen Baddour found that releasing the information about the UNC-Chapel Hill senior's March 5 death would no longer be detrimental to the state's case.

The warrants were expected to be made public later Friday.

Defense lawyers for the two suspects in the case wanted to keep the warrants sealed, but Baddour said it is possible to maintain the fairness of the judicial process by other means.

Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall had pressed to keep the six search warrants and a letter private until detectives finished the investigation. He also expressed concerns about the safety of informants.

He withdrew his request to keep the warrants private on Friday, saying investigators were completing the last of their interviews and that the state had taken every step to ensure the safety of informants.

"There is still some concern about safety of informants, however, the state's taken every step that we feel like we can to ensure their safety," Woodall said.

He asked, however, that the other document stay sealed.

One of the suspects' defense attorneys, Karen Bethea-Shields, who wants to keep the warrants from being released, said some of them contain hearsay and information from anonymous sources.

Bethea-Shields said the statements would make her client, Laurence Alvin Lovette Jr., look guilty to the same public from which a jury would come.

"With things that you get, you must make sure you understand that they are still allegations and that evidence will come from the courtroom," Bethea-Shields said.

The Durham Herald-Sun filed a motion in April, asking for the warrants' release. But Bethea Shields argued Friday that Lovette's rights, at this time, are stronger than the media's and that the warrants contain evidence that might not be allowed in the court record at the time of trial.

The warrants likely record evidence that led police to the arrests of Lovette, 17, and Demario James Atwater, 22, as well as the cause of Carson's death.

Police were responding to reports of gunshots when they found Carson's body on a residential street about a half-mile from campus, but have never disclosed how she died.

Woodall has said he will not object to Carson's autopsy report being released after June 30. It is expected to be released Monday.

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  • karrguy77 Jun 27, 2008

    I am going to have to agree with FloydTurbo. This case had too much attention drawn to it because she was the pretty, blond overachiever. There was another girl killed at a different campus around that same time, and not much was said about her or the indian guy. They are not in the news daily after their deaths. We don't hear about endless memorial services or funds being created in there name. I am sorry that any and all of their lives were cut tragically short! But it is now time to let it go and let them rest. Enough already. We dont need to know autopsy results.

  • AM is Back to Being Immaculate Jun 27, 2008

    I just wish people would lay off and give the law a chance to work.

  • FloydTurbo Jun 27, 2008

    Certainly there was the usual friends and associates concern that accompanies anyone's misfortune ..... but I will maintain that ....

    1. The "priority" given the apprehension of Eve's killers was MANY MANY times that of "the Indian guy". The public / political outrage was driven by extraneous factors beyond the value of every human life.

    2. It would be a fascinating sociological study to dissect which factors are driving all this. Is it "pretty blond" or "campus celebrity" or "UNC" or ??? ???. Shuffle any of these factors among the two cases and see what happens with the general public and media attention.

  • pleshy Jun 27, 2008

    Raleigh - Uhhhh, yes, all defendants are PRESUMED NOT GUILTY until he either pleads guilty or a jury of 12 peers determines that, under the facts as presented, he is guilty of the acts beyond a reasonable doubt. That is generally how justice works here in the USA and NC.

  • gnew46 Jun 27, 2008

    Please, let this child rest in peace. The family has been thru enough already and does not need additonal reminders of this tragedy. The Herald Sun is just trying to sell Newspapers.

  • shoyaryt Jun 27, 2008

    Will WRAL post the autopsy report..? I have no desire to see it, but I'm just questioning where WRAL stand on the subject. Will they "do the right thing" or fall pressure to the "Read It Here First" mania..?

  • tarheelalum Jun 27, 2008

    This is an issue of law. It is illegal to prevent a PUBLIC record from being seen by the public. That's the issue here...not whether she or the family deserves this, whether it will prevent future crime, etc. etc.

  • FragmentFour Jun 27, 2008

    Did anyone "care" about "whatshisname" the Indian man killed similarly in Durham in January? -- FloydTurbo

    You bet'chum, Red Rider. "Whatshisname" was an extremely popular member of the Duke community and is sorely missed. There was a lot of publicity over that one, too. Chances are, if her death hadn't been quite as soon after his, the publicity over hers wouldn't have been as heavy.

    NONE of us - not Duke and not UNC - appreciates having our students killed. And we don't take it lightly.

  • Raleigh Jun 27, 2008

    "Bethea Shields said the statements would make her client, Laurence Alvin Lovette Jr., look guilty to the same public from which a jury would come. "

    does this mean that lovette looks not guilty at this moment?

    he was arrested and charged if i remember correctly.

  • give me no quarter Jun 27, 2008

    Was she abused during the ordeal? So OrdinaryCitizen you feel that by knowing the complete details about the death of this child you can prevent another murder. You might reach out there and maybe nab a few more suspects. You'll get your jollies in a day or two.

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