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UNC murder suspect asks again to delay federal trial

Demario James Atwater, accused of killing UNC's student body president last year wants to delay a trial on federal charges until next May.

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Demario Atwater
GREENSBORO, N.C. — One of the suspects accused of killing UNC's student body president last year wants to delay his federal trial until May 2010.

Demario James Atwater Jr. faces 11 state and federal charges in connection with the March 5, 2008, shooting death of Eve Marie Carson, including federal charges of kidnapping, carjacking resulting in death and carrying and using firearms during and in relation to carjacking.

Earlier this year, a federal judge denied a request from Atwater's attorneys to delay the trial until January 2010. The federal trial is scheduled to begin Nov. 2.

But in court documents filed last week, Atwater's defense attorneys said the state crime lab is still analyzing a shoe print, an ATM receipt and other evidence found in Carson's SUV.

They also want more time to research Atwater's upbringing and background.

Carson, 22, was shot five times, including once in the head with a 12-gauge shotgun, and left on a street near the UNC campus. Police found her body after residents reported hearing gunshots.

Atwater and another man, Laurence Alvin Lovette Jr., 18, face state charges of first-degree murder, kidnapping, robbery, felonious larceny and felonious possession of stolen goods.

Atwater also faces charges of possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of a weapon of mass destruction for the size of the shotgun investigators believe was used in the crime.

The state has said it will also seek the death penalty for Atwater.

Under a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that prohibits the executions of criminals under 18 at the time of a crime, Lovette will not face the death penalty because he was 17 when Carson was killed.

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