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Carson autopsy will be released

The News & Observer of Raleigh has withdrawn a motion that the report be released in light of District Attorney Jim Woodall's announcement.

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Eve Carson portrait
HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. — The autopsy report on the slain student body president at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will be released June 30. (Should Carson's autopsy be released?)

Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall said Wednesday he does not intend to ask that the report remain sealed after that date, and neither do the lawyers for the two defendants charged in her death.

"These are public records," Woodall said. "I only requested 60 days so some final parts of the investigation can be completed."

Woodall had originally asked the report detailing Eve Marie Carson's death remain under seal to allow investigators time to complete interviews. Releasing the details of Carson's death before then, he said, would compromise the investigation.

Last month, attorneys for The News & Observer of Raleigh filed a motion opposing Woodall's request to seal the results, arguing the report is a public record and should be open to review.

The newspaper's attorney said Wednesday he had withdrawn that motion, and a hearing on the issue scheduled for Wednesday was canceled.

"In light of Mr. Woodall's representations, however, and the imminent expiration of your order, we see no reason to take up the court's time and energy to deal with an issue that apparently will become moot in a few days," attorney Hugh Stevens wrote in a letter to Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour.

Carson was found dead on a residential street about a half-mile near campus on March 5.

Police responded to reports of gunshots, but they have never disclosed how the 22-year-old died.

Laurence Alvin Lovette Jr., 17, and Demario James Atwater, 21, are charged with murder in Carson’s death.

The Durham Herald-Sun is also fighting to get six search warrants in the case unsealed.

Baddour ruled the documents should stay sealed because affidavits attached to them contain descriptions and details about the case that could lead to the identification of confidential informants

A hearing on that is scheduled for June 27.

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