Local News

Suspects Indicted in UNC Student Leader's Death

Posted March 31, 2008 5:15 p.m. EDT
Updated April 1, 2008 12:04 a.m. EDT

— An Orange County grand jury on Monday indicted two men for the shooting death of Eve Marie Carson, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's student body president.

Demario James Atwater, 21, and Laurence Alvin Lovette, 17, both of Durham, were indicted on a charge of first-degree murder.

Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall said a hearing is scheduled for May 5 to determine whether to pursue the death penalty against Atwater.

Woodall said he has not decided whether to try the case as a capital case, but that state statute requires the hearing to be set 45 days from indictment.

Last week, a Durham County grand jury indicted Lovette on a murder charge in the Jan. 18 death of Abhijit Mahato, a 29-year-old Duke University graduate student.

Lovette cannot be executed. A 2005 U.S. Supreme Court ruling prohibits executing anyone who was under 18 at the time of a crime for which an adult could be executed. The harshest punishment he could face, if convicted of either crime, would be life in prison.

While responding to reports of gunfire, Chapel Hill police found Carson, 22, around 5 a.m. March 5 about a half-mile from the UNC campus. Her body was identified the next day. According to a stolen-vehicle report, she had been shot in the head.