Local News

Murder suspect in Duke, UNC shootings faces new charges

Posted October 13, 2008 11:47 a.m. EDT
Updated October 13, 2008 7:16 p.m. EDT

— A man in jail on charges of first-degree murder in the deaths of two local college students was indicted last week in connection with a burglary case in Cary last year.

Laurence Alvin Lovette Jr., 17, of Durham, now faces charges of felony larceny, felony larceny of a motor vehicle, first-degree burglary and felony possession of a stolen vehicle in the case.

According to the indictment, Lovette broke into a house at 101 Gorge Court sometime between 2 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. on Nov. 5 and allegedly stole a Honda Accord and Subaru Forester, as well as a cell phone, phone charger and money from the residence.

Cary police would not say how they linked Lovette to the break-in.

Lovette is accused in the Jan. 18 shooting death of Duke University graduate student Abhijit Mahato, 29, who was found dead in his apartment, shot once at point-blank range in the forehead.

He also faces multiple other charges in the March 5 shooting death of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill senior Eve Marie Carson. An autopsy found she had been shot five times, including once to her head with a shotgun.

Lovette could potentially face federal carjacking charges in connection with Carson's death. Federal authorities have opened an investigation into the case but have yet to file any charges.

Because he was under age 18 at the time of the alleged homicides, Lovette would be ineligible for the death penalty if convicted. The maximum sentence he could face is life in prison.

Another man, Stephen Oates, 19, of Durham, is also charged with murder in Mahato's death.

Demario James Atwater, 22, is also charged with murder in Carson's death and could also face federal charges. Orange County's prosecutor has said he plans to seek the death penalty if Atwater is found guilty.