Local News

UNC murder defense to get access to some Crime Stoppers tips

Posted February 4, 2010

— A Superior Court judge on Thursday ruled attorneys representing the two suspects charged in the shooting death of UNC's former student body president should be allowed access to information dealing with some Crime Stoppers tips.

Judge Allen Baddour ruled that prosecutors have to turn over specific pieces of evidence that will not identify tipsters or informants.

The rest of the tips will remain protected.

Defense attorneys for Demario James Atwater and Laurence Alvin Lovette Jr. argued that they should see all of the information that would be helpful to their case, not just what authorities considered relevant.

Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall argued that broader access to the Crime Stoppers information would expose the identities of callers, who are promised anonymity.

According to search warrants in the case, an anonymous caller connected detectives investigating Carson's March 5, 2008, shooting death to a confidential informant who ultimately led them to arrest Atwater and Lovette.

Police found Carson, 22, dead about a half-mile from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus while responding to early-morning reports of gunshots. She had been shot five times, according to an autopsy report.

Both Lovette and Atwater face a number of state charges in the case, including first-degree murder. Atwater also faces federal charges.

Both state and federal prosecutors have indicated they will seek the death penalty against Atwater.


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  • mpheels Feb 5, 2010

    Just a little back ground for those who don't seem to understand why we can't seek the death penalty for crimes committed under the age of 18 - we as a society have decided that people under 18 are not mature or responsible enough to enjoy the full rights of citizenship. Minors cannot vote, enter into contracts, buy controlled substances, and a whole host of other things. The flip side of that is that we can't hold minors to the same expectations of citizenship. In other words, if they aren't yet mature enough to vote, then they aren't yet mature enough to fully understand the consequences of capital crimes. Now, I don't believe that a 17 year is so stupid as to think murder is OK, but if we want to hold 17 (16... 15...) year olds to the same legal repercussions as adults, then we have to grant them the full rights of adulthood as well.

  • jafarmg2 Feb 5, 2010

    This whole fiasco is going to play out in the media and the courts system for years. These two are guilty! Why are we spending millions of dollars on them? At times I just shake my head in wonder and disgust. The only winners in this whole mess are the lawyers who will no doubt get "fame and fortune" by representing these skum bags. Death penalty to both..even if one of them was only 17 years old. He was old enough to commit murder. But, alas, he won't get the death penalty unless the convicts see that justice is done.

  • NCStatePack Feb 5, 2010

    "These guys don't deserve any special treatment or leads. They didn't give Eve Carson a choice on whether she wanted to die or not. Crimestoppers, don't give them anything! There's a reason why we have annonymous tips - stick to it!"

    Wait, so you saw them murder her? I must not have seen that 100% definitive evidence showing them murdering her, so until you know without any doubt, shut up and let the justice system work.

  • AnotherIgnoredComment Feb 5, 2010

    whatever....they are desperate....they are both guilty and now they want crime stopper names (thankfully they didn't get them) and throwing the race card saying that the death penalty is sought due to the victim being white......WHAT!?!?

    So if a hate crime is committed by blacks they SHOULD NOT get the death penalty.....rocks

  • USA Feb 4, 2010

    Although I hope I'm wrong, I'm afraid this decision will have an adverse affect on future crime stopper tipsters. Even if the names are withheld, the possibility exists that the tip itself may help identify the individual providing the tip. Even the perception of this could keep people from coming forward. Redneck Fun, I agree with you 100%; the key word you used is "ABSOLUTELY" and that may be really tough to ensure.

  • jackleg Feb 4, 2010

    i didn't read anything in the article about a change of venue, but if that's what it takes to get the trial away from the moronic majority that's posting here, then so be it


  • needmocash Feb 4, 2010

    What difference does it make? Look at the situation and the circumstances of this case. If Jesus Christ himself were the defense lawyer for these guys they'd still fry.

  • seankelly15 Feb 4, 2010

    grenlyn1 - Read about our system of justice. Do not apply your view of what YOU think justice should look like. Read and understand the constitution which is the basis for our system of laws. The State looks out for the victim. Our legal system is not set up to 'take the side' of the victim. It is setup to protect the rights of the accused from losing their freedom. This process works the same in every criminal trial. Your emotional reaction is the very reason that the accused rights are protected.

  • animaenagerie Feb 4, 2010

    Prancy, as much as my knee jerk reaction is to argue with you, you happen to be right. Heaven forbid these two should get any slack from a legal technicality.

  • josephlawrence43 Feb 4, 2010

    two worms squirming on the hook...given our liberal, oh-I'm-not-responsible-judicial and social system--why is this any different??