Local News

Letter confirms federal probe of Eve Carson homicide

Posted July 31, 2008

A letter made public Thursday confirms federal authorities have opened an investigation into the March 5 shooting death of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's student body president.

U.S. Attorney Anna Mills Wagoner says in the letter, dated April 23, to Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall, that investigators opened the investigation nine days after Eve Carson, 22, was found dead several blocks from the UNC campus.

Federal sources told WRAL News earlier this month that investigators are looking at carjacking charges against the two men charged in her death – Demario James Atwater, 22, and Laurence Alvin Lovette Jr., 17.

Both already face state charges of first-degree murder, kidnapping and armed robbery, as well as other charges.

If federal prosecutors bring charges, Woodall said, that would mean a separate prosecution; federal involvement would not affect his state case

"They might have some similar charges, but usually, they are going to have some charges for crimes that, frankly, don't exist at the state level," Woodall said.

A federal carjacking charge can carry a death penalty sentence if prosecutors can prove the carjacking was committed during a homicide.

Possible federal charges are significant because Orange County juries have rarely sent someone to death row. The last defendant executed from Orange County was in 1948.

"I think it's well known," Woodall said. "It's been many years since around 1970 or 1971 since there's been a death verdict returned in Orange County."

Under a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Lovette cannot be tried on capital murder charges, because he was under the age of 18 at the time he allegedly committed the crime.

A hearing to determine whether Atwater will face the death penalty is scheduled for Aug. 11.

Carson, who was a senior from Athens, Ga., had been shot five times, including once to her head with a shotgun, according to an autopsy report; search warrants suggest both suspects might have shot her.


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  • didyouhearme Aug 1, 2008

    Bye Bye Boys. Excellent example of what could and should happen when crimes are committed against society. I think the Feds just won a popularity vote. Especially from the parents of the girl.

  • mmania Aug 1, 2008


    Interesting comment. Why is it you never hear of a black on white crime, being a hate crime?

    Are whites not "entitled" to declare that such a thing may exist? Maybe we should pull our own race card.

  • tautry04 Aug 1, 2008

    Well honestly what burns me up about the whole deal, is not paying for them to spend the rest of their miserable lives in jail, but the fact that they are going to have the guts to ask a jury and a judge for mercy when they showed absolutely no mercy to that bright, beautiful, woman who they hunted down. Nor did they show any remorse, first they ran, then they have absolutely no emotions whatsoever when you see their pictures on tv or in the paper of them in the courtroom. SO now that they have asked for mercy, we are going to allow them to enjoy the simple pleasures in life that EVE will never get to enjoy again? THAT TRULY IS UNJUST AND UNFAIR! I am with datacIerk, I will have no problem paying for them to fry.

  • datacIerk Aug 1, 2008

    "If convicted they'll probably get 4-5 consecutive life sentences without parole, they'll be in their 100's before they can get out. An Orange Co jury may not give the death penalty, but they aren't likely to let these guys out either (and that's assuming the trial will be in OC, which I'm sure it won't)." - mpheels

    mpheels, i think a lot of the Pro-Death Penalty people are not necessarily concerned with these punks "getting out of prison" any time soon. I think that it really comes down to the fact that if these two violent criminals spend the rest of their lives in prison, they will be getting three hot meals a day, an air conditioned/heated place to sleep, TV to watch, a gym and recreational facilities, and more contact with gang members for the rest of their lives PAID FOR WITH OUR TAXES!!!! That is what burns me up!!! I don't mind paying to have them both fried!

  • North Wake Dad Aug 1, 2008

    The FBI runs the Violent Criminal Apprehension Program, which is probably what's involved here. From the FBI website:
    "What is VICAP?
    VICAP is a nationwide data information center designed to collect, collate, and analyze crimes of violence - specifically murder. Cases examined by VICAP include:

    solved or unsolved homicides or attempts, especially those that involve an abduction; are apparently random, motiveless, or sexually oriented; or are known or suspected to be part of a series; " (snipped)

    A couple of these seem to apply.

  • justwondering2 Aug 1, 2008

    Along with the car jacking investigation, IMO the feds should investigate the possibilities of a hate crime because of the execution style murder.

  • dbcooper41 Aug 1, 2008

    isn't this a wee bit unusual? why the special treatment for this case?

  • vote4changeASAP Aug 1, 2008

    I doubt Eve gave up her car voluntarily, since she was shot multiple times, especially in the head with a sawed off shotgun.

  • BigUNCFan Aug 1, 2008

    Don't forget the Duke student from India that one of these guys killed as well.

  • beachbum1 Aug 1, 2008

    Neither should EVER see the light of day again. There is too much evidence to even question if they are the ones.