Local News

Jury selection nearly complete in UNC murder trial

Posted December 5, 2011 4:01 a.m. EST
Updated December 5, 2011 12:12 p.m. EST

— Opening statements could begin as early as Tuesday in the trial of a man charged in the shooting death of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's student body president more than three years ago.

Defense attorneys and prosecutors chose the 12th member of the jury Monday morning in the trial of Laurence Alvin Lovette Jr., 21, who is charged with first-degree murder in the March 5, 2008, death of Eve Marie Carson, 22.

Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour, however, sent jurors home for the day. Three alternate jurors still need to be selected. Baddour had anticipated only seating two alternate jurors but decided Monday on three.

Investigators say Lovette and Demario James Atwater kidnapped Carson from her Chapel Hill home and forced her to withdraw $1,400 from ATMs before they shot her five times in a neighborhood about a half-mile from the UNC campus.

Atwater pleaded guilty last year to charges in Carson's death and is serving a life prison sentence without the possibility of parole. Lovette also faces life in prison if convicted.

WRAL News plans to carry the trial live on WRAL.com once jury selection is complete.