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Warrants: Both suspects shot Eve Carson

Posted June 27, 2008
Updated June 29, 2008

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— A confidential informant told investigators that Demario James Atwater admitted to abducting Eve Carson from her home and taking her to withdraw $1,400 from an ATM.

That's according to six search warrants made public Friday on Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour's ruling that their release no longer posed a threat to the integrity of the investigation into the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill senior's death.

The informant said Atwater confided to her that Laurence Alvin Lovette Jr. shot Carson multiple times and that he shot her as well.

Police investigators were able to confirm both claims – $1,400 was withdrawn from Carson's bank account over a two-day period and two weapons were used in the shooting, the warrant stated.

Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall, however, told WRAL News on Friday that detectives don't believe the suspects went into Carson's home, as the informant claims in the warrants.

Woodall wouldn't comment on the evidence, but says that in general, confidential sources can be valuable.

"Law enforcement can sometimes verify information and that's what can build a case," Woodall said. "And that's certainly what we're working toward."

Defense attorneys call the information hearsay, say it hasn't been tested in open court and worry about it tainting a potential jury pool.

"The allegations are from anonymous sources, confidential informants, who may have their own reasons for giving this information," Lovette's attorney, Karen Bethea-Shields, said.

It's still unclear how the suspects – each charged with first-degree murder – might have encountered Carson. Police have said they believe her death was a random crime.

Police found the 22-year-old's body about a half-mile from campus on the morning of March 5 while responding to reports of gunshots.

The warrants state Carson died from multiple gunshots, but it does not say how many or where. Investigators were seeking firearms including "a shotgun and/or .25-caliber pistol." Those questions could be answered Monday when Carson's autopsy report is released.

Six days after the homicide, an anonymous caller contacted Crime Stoppers, saying that a man she knows as "Rio" told her that he and an unknown individual took Carson to the ATM with the plan of obtaining her personal identification number and then killing her.

The caller also connected investigators with the confidential informant, who told them that the suspects forced Carson into the back seat of her Toyota Highlander with Atwater. Lovette drove, she said.

That information is consistent with ATM surveillance video images released to the media, investigators said in the warrant.

The informant also volunteered to wear a wire but instead used an open cell phone line for investigators to tape a conversation in which Atwater spoke of the crime and his involvement, the warrant also said.

In search warrant affidavits for Atwater's and Lovette's homes, investigators say Atwater admitted to them he was the subject of a surveillance photo taken at a Durham BP convenience store at the same time someone tried to use Carson's ATM card.

Atwater identified Lovette in an ATM surveillance photo taken the same morning Carson was shot, investigators said.

And during a crime scene examination of Carson's SUV, investigators found a partial shoe print on a Bank of America receipt that was generated when Lovette and Atwater allegedly made a withdrawal from Carson's account, the warrants state.

Sixteen pairs of shoes – 12 from Lovette's home and four from Atwater's home – were among the items seized. Other items included:

  • 22 shoe boxes and a receipt from Lovette's home.
  • Three single shoes and a shoe box from Atwater's home
  • Various vehicle keys, two shotgun shells, a cellular phone, two cameras and personal writings from Atwater's home
  • Hair, saliva and blood samples from Atwater and Lovette

Authorities say such samples are standard in kidnapping and homicide cases involving female victims. Woodall said Friday that investigators do not believe a sexual assault occurred.

126 Comments

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  • colliedave Jun 27, 2008

    LET US LEARN FROM THIS TRAGIC SCENE.

    and this lesson is?

    That crime is caused by an evil heart than a lack of education and material wealth. Our "justice" system needs total reform.

  • teacher-mom Jun 27, 2008

    Crumudgeon

    Excellent. My thoughts exactly. One of the probation officers has a dwi. I do not know if she is on probation. Should be fired.

  • Common Sense Man Jun 27, 2008

    "Do you remember when this tragedy happened and I said that I thought there was a 3rd person in the back seat and proposed that it was maybe Eve and you laughed at it and said that I must be seeing things?"

    I saw the same thing, clear as day when you enlarge the pics. I still can't figure out how others don't see it.

  • Just my thought Jun 27, 2008

    NCSUSPAM...It was just an "I knew it" moment. That's all. Thank you for the kind words.

  • Made In USA Jun 27, 2008

    I cannot write in here what I want to say. But the death penalty or not, God Almighty shall see that justice is served. There will be no escaping that by these two. I hope that God has no mercy of them at all.

  • london12 Jun 27, 2008

    I think Eldogg7 made a very interesting and intelligent point. But (there's the but), I think Carson's position as Student Body President is what created the larger noise over her death compared to that of the Duke student.

    "History starts now"

  • The Curmudgeon Jun 27, 2008

    This is so sad....

    I"m fairly new at the GOLO stuff...but has anybody discussed why the government workers that had ANYthing to do with the parole and/or overseeing of these two creeps STILL HAVE JOBS? These two creeps were loose due to (apparently, if I have the story correct from an earlier press release) POOR JUDICIAL PAROLEE MANAGEMENT.

    Who lost their job? Their name(s)? Who was the supervisor in charge? Transfers and demotions don't count as "punishment..." given the severity of their lack of judgement in handling these creeps.

    Why aren't the people in charge of tracking, overseeing and controlling these probation failures kicked out of the PUBLIC PAYROLL???

    All of *us* are paying for them to keep on keeping on.

    This is a tragedy that will continue to be repeated...the same government workers that let these fools out and about will be reporting for work Monday.

    Such a shame....but it'll happen again and again.....darn it.

  • ncsuspam Jun 27, 2008

    Just my thought, glad you could use this story to try to build your self esteem.. good grief

  • Just my thought Jun 27, 2008

    RATHERBNNC.....Did you read this article??? Did you?? Do you remember when this tragedy happened and I said that I thought there was a 3rd person in the back seat and proposed that it was maybe Eve and you laughed at it and said that I must be seeing things? Well, I do. I just wanted you to know I was right and you were wrong. Have a great day.

  • peakofgoodliving Jun 27, 2008

    While most people use this area to comment on the news, others are just compelled to criticize with meaningless insults. So Newsflash Carolinakhaki some comments are simply hyperbole and not an exercise in jurisprudence. My comment was simply that the defendant should not be charged as a minor. Wow, you must be the life of every party you attend. Oh, and just for elucidation, that last comment was intended as sarcasm.

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