Local News

State says Lovette murder appeal has no merit

Posted October 3, 2012

— Attorneys for the state of North Carolina say convicted murderer Laurence Lovette's appeal has no merit, according to a brief filed Wednesday with the state Court of Appeals.

Lovette, 21, who was sentenced in December to life in prison without the possibility of parole after being convicted of first-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping and first-degree armed robbery in the 2008 shooting death of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student body president Eve Carson.

His attorneys filed an appeal in August, arguing that the robbery conviction should be overturned due to a paperwork error in which prosecutors apparently failed to fill in Eve Carson's name on the indictment. 

The appeal further argues that the court abused its power during jury selection and that Lovette's attorney erred by conceding that the jury was going to find him guilty.

In Wednesday's filing, state attorneys contend that the blank line on the robbery indictment "does not cause the indictment to be defective." They also say that prosecutors did not ask any improper questions during jury selection and that the court didn't abuse its discretion by denying the defendant's challenges to three prospective jurors.

Furthermore, state attorneys argue, Lovette's trial attorney, Karen Bethea-Shields, never conceded his guilt during closing arguments and that she did not imply that the jury should find her client guilty.

Lovette and another man, Demario Atwater, kidnapped Carson from her Chapel Hill home in the early hours of March 5, 2008, and drove her in her SUV to two ATMs, where Lovette withdrew $700 from her bank account.

The pair then shot her five times in a neighborhood near UNC's campus and left her body in the street.

Atwater pleaded guilty to state and federal charges in May 2010.

38 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Oldest First
View all
  • macy Oct 5, 1:04 p.m.

    Too bad he couldn't have gotten death - he certainly deserves it.

  • NCHighlander Oct 4, 5:18 p.m.

    Hopefully he'll end in the same way as the vermin in Lanesboro Correctional Institute the other day.

  • Vanilla Skye Oct 4, 4:31 p.m.

    One can only imagine the terror she must have felt, being driven around to 2 different ATM's,and knowing the chance of
    being let go was becoming less apparent,but, yet still trying to reason with them? And, then asking for just the dignity to have a prayer said before you die? My heart breaks just thinking about it.

  • charmcclainlovesdogs2 Oct 4, 3:37 p.m.

    He is guilt and admited to it. He got life in prison. Let it go.

  • mpheels Oct 4, 3:33 p.m.

    give me no quarter - Lovette got the maximum sentence allowable by law, according to the Supreme Court. He was under 18 at the time of the crime, and the Supreme Court has ruled that death penalty is not allowed when the perpetrator was under 18 at the time they committed the crime. His sentence has nothing to do with his testimony against anyone else.

  • give me no quarter Oct 4, 3:13 p.m.

    Exactly Country Girlz. Society has no appeal. We simply take it on the chin and hope that the sentence handed down will actually fit the crime. With all the evidence the State had mounted against Lovette he should be on death row. The fact that he ratted out everyone he knew since childhood should not have had any bearing on his sentence.

  • storchheim Oct 4, 2:39 p.m.

    If the hyphenated one was his attorney, she's on the (deep breath)
    Racial and Ethnic Bias in the Criminal Justice System Task Force along with about 3 dozen others, mostly college professors and the usual NAACP rep. I can't easily find the source of their funding, but what do you want to bet we're paying the stooge to be on this "task force"?

  • monami Oct 4, 2:37 p.m.

    "Disgusting, he deserves his punishment and more, why would anyone represent him and try and defend his actions when they know he is guilty, makes me lose respect for state attorney's in this case..."

    I'm not sure attorneys have a choice when they are appointed by the State to act as counsel for a defendant. Plus, we paid for his defense. Isn't that disgusting?

  • monami Oct 4, 2:28 p.m.

    I may be wrong, but I believe the State (meaning we taxpayers) paid his legal expenses for this appeal. Or is that only in a death penalty case? Either way, what a waste of resources... Thankfully the judge put the hammer down on this frivolity.

  • Country Girlz Have MORE fun Oct 4, 2:18 p.m.

    Forget him...he is a murderer. He should be happy he didn't get death. Can we reopen the case if we think his punishment was too light?

More...