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Newspaper asks for Eve Carson autopsy results to be released

Posted May 12, 2008

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— The News & Observer filed a motion Monday opposing the Orange County district attorney's request to seal the results of the autopsy of murdered UNC student Eve Carson.

Last week, Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour ordered that the results remain under seal to protect the integrity of the ongoing investigation into the 22-year-old Athens, Ga., senior's death.

Arguments on the matter might be heard next week, court officials said.

In a motion earlier this month to seal the report, District Attorney Jim Woodall said there are details about Carson's death that should remain confidential and that releasing the report could cause speculation about the significance of those details.

Several search warrants relating to the case are also under seal for similar reasons. The Durham Herald-Sun filed a similar motion asking that those documents be released, but Baddour ruled that affidavits attached to the warrants contain descriptions and details about the case that could lead to the identification of confidential informants.

Demario James Atwater, 21, and Laurence Alvin Lovette Jr., 17, are each charged with first-degree murder in Carson's death.

Police found Carson, 22, dead near the UNC campus while responding to reports of gunfire on the morning of March 5. Authorities have never said exactly how she died. A stolen-vehicle report filed when her car was found elsewhere in Chapel Hill, however, indicated she was shot in the head.

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  • mondosinistro May 14, 2008

    I think we're getting a little off the subject. In a few weeks the autopsy results will be released anyway, and newspapers may or may not exploit and sensationalize the information. My concern for the moment is that the case, the investigation, the informants and so on not be intefered with or jeopardized. It's only a few weeks--what's the hurry?

  • azure28 May 13, 2008

    The autopsy report for Abhijit Mahato, the Duke student who was allegedly slain by these goons, has already been released. We know he was shot between the eyes as a pillow was held over his face. Has there been a coarsening of the conscience now that those details are known publicly? No. Are we titillated? Not at all, we are repulsed by the cold blooded crime.

    There is no reason for Eve Carson to get some special treatment as a victim ante-mortem. Her family is not in the Raleigh area, so they will not be directly affected in the community by the release of this news. Furthermore, they have already received kind accommodations in their time of loss. UNC sent a state owned jet down to pick them up in Athens and deliver them to Chapel Hill, held a memorial service in the basketball arena for their daughter and so forth. Meanwhile, the Mahato clan in India was told to "pay their own way" to Durham by Duke. They couldn't. The remains were shipped as freight to India.

  • Deb1003 May 13, 2008

    I'm a subscriber to the N&O but this is beyond my comprehension. This morbid curiousity is nothing but a ploy to get headlines and increase sales. I'm canceling my subscription today...I won't futher the pain of the family by providing money to a newspaper that wants to "splash" her autopsy on the front page.

  • Gork May 13, 2008

    After re-reading all the comments, I can come to only one conclusion: no one is concerned about whether or not the courts and prosecutors will accurately determine who did it and whether or not the accused will received a fair trial and a fair sentence.

    I understand. Just as we go along with the Patriot Act, we have faith in the government's ability to do it right and do it fairly. Why should we worry about a process that has imprisoned a larger percentage of our population than those in third and fourth world countries?

  • mondosinistro May 13, 2008

    I agree that results from the autopsy are likely more to just satisfy morbid curiosity--although remember, we don't necessarily know that until we know the actual results. I do think there are details worth making public, though. I would like to know the series of events in the crime. And one thing that particularly keeps bothering me is the idea that Eve was captive of these two for probably 20-30 minutes, possibly much longer, with *no way* to let anyone know she was in trouble. (And it could've been even worse--for an example, look up the story of Dru Sjodin (2003).) Maybe there's a way to prevent that--some system involving a panic button or some such thing. And not just for crimes--for any situation where someone might be unable to call for help.

  • Justin T. May 13, 2008

    Yeah! Let's all cancel our N&O subscriptions because they are digging deep into stories. I thought that investigative reporting was the goal.

    I hate it when GOLO geniuses try to get a "groundswell" going based on nothing but opinion. Try making a decision based on good judgment, not mob mentality.

    Personally, the lack of information given in most homicide cases is not sufficient to inform and protect the public.

    Why was she killed? Why was the UNCC girl killed? What can we learn to protect our students, wives, etc?

    I want to know if there is a way to PREVENT being a victim, and not just hide my head in the sand.

  • gt705 May 13, 2008

    Great, arbitrary, preferential treatment for someone, much like Dale Earnhardt. Release the autopsy just like it would be done for any other citizen.

  • b4self May 13, 2008

    If there's imformation that may save another student then it should be brought out after the trail, these 2 are locked up at least for now and can not hurt anyone else.So we can all wait for any more news,and that should only be what her family wants the public to know.How can how many times and where she was shot help us? Let her RIP and her family has been through enough without reading details rhey are trying to forget.
    BTW did you know most serial killers start killing when they are out on parol for some other crime we need to just stop Paroles serve the full sentence.

  • wcnc May 13, 2008

    Why in the world does the public have a "right" to know details of this investigation, which may be held in the autopsy results?? How crazy can the N&O get?? Just to get the scoop on this story- that is the ONLY logical reason they can give for wanting these details released. Forget about actually getting a conviction of her murderers!!

  • kikidlc2 May 13, 2008

    Yes, April65, I agree with you. If it could somehow stay generic in focus (not saying the name of the suspects, etc, so that some lawyer can't use that as an excuse to call for a mistrial)
    That type of info is something good to know if it helps people learn to be safer. However, I'd guess that a lot of those details (beyond her physical location when taken, etc) are details only found out by what the suspects say. If they're denying anything then they wouldn't 'have' details to give and if they do say something then releasing it to the public would again give a reason to call for a mistrial! Tragic.

    It would be nice if the police could give some information about how/where she was abducted, etc because that is something that could calm a wary public. Sadly, even doing that would probably jeopardize the trial in this day and age.

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