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UNC student's killer appealing life sentence to NC Supreme Court

Posted June 11, 2014

Laurence Alvin Lovette Jr. appears in Durham County Superior Court on May 27, 2014, for a motions hearing before his murder trial in the 2008 death of Duke University graduate student Abhijit Mahato.

— A Durham man spending life in prison for the 2008 shooting death of a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student is appealing his sentence to the state Supreme Court.

Last month, the North Carolina Court of Appeals upheld Laurence Lovette's life sentence for the first-degree murder of Eve Carson, but an appellate attorney questions that decision in a notice of appeal filed Tuesday, saying there are still constitutional issues in the case.

Lovette, 23, was originally sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in December 2011, but his sentence was reconsidered last year because of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that offenders under age 18 at the time of a crime can't receive life sentences without parole unless mitigating circumstances are weighed.

Lovette was 17 years old when he and another man kidnapped, robbed and shot Carson five times in a neighborhood near the UNC campus early on the morning of March 5, 2008.

His attorneys want the life sentence vacated and a lesser sentence imposed that would make him eligible for parole after 25 years.

A judge, however, ruled at Lovette's resentencing in June 2013 that there was no chance of him being rehabilitated.

Lovette is in prison at Polk Correctional Institution in Butner, where he's awaiting another murder trial late next month for {{a href="asset-gallery-0"}}the shooting death of Duke University graduate student Abhijit Mahato{{/a}}, who was killed two months before Carson.

Mahato's friends found the 29-year-old shot in the head in his apartment near the Durham campus on Jan. 18, 2008.


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  • Hecate Jun 12, 2014

    This whole issue about offenders under age 18 at the time of a crime can't receive life sentences without parole unless mitigating circumstances are weighed is a spit in the face to victims... you are no less dead if killed by someone 17 or 70... he knew exactly what he was doing... and still shows no remorse .... AND is going on trial for another murder..... at some point the legal system needs to govern themselves and stop knowingly making excuses for this man.

  • Cheree Teasley Jun 12, 2014

    These lawyers must be more concerned about the precedent than this individual, because I simly don't get why else they'd waste the time with this. This young man has another murder charge pending. No one is paroling this guy in 25 years, and if he is found guilty a second time even if they didn't give him life, the years stacked up against him would be a lifetime. He killed people and now his entire life is thrown away. He's most likely never, ever, ever getting out.

  • Jeremy Gilchrist Jun 11, 2014

    I am pretty confident his appeal will go nowhere.

  • DurhamDevil Jun 11, 2014

    The epitome of a disgrace to humanity, this guy is...

  • rosie48 Jun 11, 2014

    This disgusts me! He shows no remorse whatsoever. If he is able to decrease his time in prison I will never again have any respect for our judicial system. I certainly hope these families have an opportunity to tell their stories to the judge!

  • "Screen Name-8/20" Jun 11, 2014

    I wish he'd given Carson and Mahato as many chances as our court system is giving him, or...I wish our court system would give him as many chances as he gave Carson and Mahato...NONE!!!

  • I Have a Discernible Chin Jun 11, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Exactly. For most of us, it's a basic human instinct to feel empathy for those unfortunate enough to end up in prison. However, we have to remember why they're there. No reason to feel sorry for them. Put them to work instead of having them laying around watching TV and working out. Really. What sort of organized movement led to the change in the justice system that has made it so easy for these people. How about an organized movement to have punishment put back into the penal system.

  • rickandlinda88 Jun 11, 2014

    free this murderer and you may as well open all jail/prison doors and set every person inside go..where is the justice??eve carson begged for her life,but this sorry excuse for a human being just laughed and shot her as she lay defenseless on a city street in chapel hill..die in prison you piece of trash!!!

  • Objective Scientist Jun 11, 2014

    After Eve Carson was murdered and this guy and his sidekick were first named as "suspects" I did a quick search and happened to see his Facebook page before it was taken down. His own words and his pictures on his Facebook page were clearly intended to portray himself as the "BADDEST of the BAD!" He presented himself as a guy that not even the "meanest, hard-core, roughest-toughest bad-a_ _ " from the roughest, crime-riddled "hood" would want to "mess with"... that he would always get what he wanted even if he had to maim and/or kill to do it! His Facebook page portrayed a "bad-a_ _" that valued no one's life except his own. His callous murder of the Duke student and Eve Carson is clear indiction that his Facebook page accurately portrayed him! Too bad that could not and will not be used in his cases. I'd be first in line to carry out the ultimate penalty against him if that were to be possible... unequivocally that is what he deserves... only that would be true justice!

  • Jeff Johnson Jun 11, 2014

    Maybe prison is too boring. Nothing better to do than try to use the system to attempt to escape justice. Why don't we re-instate hard labor instead of luxuries. They have TV, right? Is it Cable? I don't have cable, can't justify the expense. I don't have a Gym membership either. It bothers me that my tax dollars are spent on luxuries for others that I don't enjoy myself.