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Laurence Alvin Lovette is the second negro charges in Eve Carsons Murder

Laurence Alvin Lovette Jr., 17, is watches Orange County District Attorney General Jim Woodall speak during his first appearance in Hillsborough, N.C., Friday, March 14, 2008. Lovette is charged with first degree murder and held without bond in the murder of North Carolina University student body president Eve Carson. Lovette was also charged today of first degree murder for Abhijit Mahato, a doctoral student at Duke University, in Durham, N.C. (AP Photo/Sara D. Davis)

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5iU3IVnyNBpy8ooTN4OutE2rKG1pgD8VE2QCG0DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Whenever there’s been a crack to fall through in North Carolina’s legal system, Laurence Lovette and Demario Atwater have found it.

The high school dropouts were convicted of crimes but put back on the street by a system that failed to notice when they were arrested again.

Both are now behind bars, held without bail and charged with murdering two college students.

“We’ve got a lot of kids out there who have a sense of helplessness, with a propensity for violence,” said Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez. “We need to look at the reasons our youth are doing this.”

Lovette, 17, is accused in the slaying of a graduate student at the Duke University, and he and Atwater, 21, are charged in the death of the University of North Carolina student body president.

A third defendant, 19-year-old Stephen Oates, was arrested a few days after the Duke student’s death and charged with murder and more than a dozen robberies. His next court appearance is set for Monday.

Abhijit Mahato, a doctoral student in computational mechanics at Duke, was found in his apartment a few blocks off campus in January. His autopsy said the 29-year-old from Tatangar, India, was shot at point-blank range in the forehead as a pillow was held tightly against his face. His wallet, cell phone and iPod were missing.

Eve Carson was also shot in the head, once in the right temple, her wallet and keys missing. Her body was found March 5 in the middle of a residential street in Chapel Hill about a mile from the North Carolina campus. The death of the student body president sparked a widespread outpouring of grief that led thousands to gather for two campus memorial services the day her body was identified.

The tragedies have brought together two renowned centers of academic excellence separated by just eight miles and defined most often by their fierce rivalry on the basketball court.

Atwater and Lovette were both students at Durham’s Charles E. Jordan High, a school with a diverse student body and test scores that exceed the state and national average. The school produces success stories: Last week, a senior from Jordan won a $100,000 scholarship in the annual Intel Science Talent Search.

Atwater left in 2002; Lovette dropped out sometime last year. After pleading guilty to misdemeanor larceny and breaking and entering for crimes committed last November, Lovette received a two-year suspended sentence and was placed on probation Jan. 16.

Prosecutors believe he and Oates killed Mahato two days later. In the six weeks that followed, authorities in Durham arrested Lovette several times and charged him with nine different crimes, including burglary, car theft, breaking and entering, and resisting arrest. He was released after each arrest.

“I’m not going to second guess what a judge or a prosecutor in another district did,” said Jim Woodall, the prosecutor in neighboring Orange County, where Carson was killed. “It’s a tough job. You have to make hundreds of judgment calls every day. Nobody has a crystal ball.”

The state Department of Correction said efforts to revoke Lovette’s probation hadn’t begun because he had been on probation for such a short time. Robert Lee Guy, director of the state Division of Community Corrections, said probation officers don’t automatically receive information alerting them when one of their charges pleads guilty or is convicted of another crime.

But Guy said the state is investigating Atwater’s case. Convicted in 2005 of breaking and entering, he violated his probation last June when he was convicted — and sentenced again to probation — on a gun charge. It wasn’t until last month that he was served with a probation violation warrant.

Atwater’s court appearance on the probation violation was March 3 — two days before Carson’s death. The case was assigned to the wrong courtroom, Guy said, and rescheduled for later this month. Atwater was also supposed to be under a stricter form of probation that required him to meet weekly with his probation officer, Guy said.

“Most of the time those reviews take place and everything looks above board,” Guy said. “The rarities (are) like this case. … Most of them are not the tragedy of this nature, when you take someone’s life.”

Guy said he can’t speculate whether Carson’s slaying could have been avoided if the system had worked as intended, but he acknowledges: “I think that’s the million-dollar question on everybody’s mind.”

Should either Lovette or Atwater be convicted of first-degree murder, they could fall through one final crack: neither is likely to face a death sentence.

For Lovette, it’s a guarantee. In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court banned the execution of people under 18. For Atwater, it might as well be; since North Carolina resumed executions in 1984 after a break of more than two decades, jurors in Orange County haven’t sentenced anyone to death.

“There are a lot of people who are against the death penalty in Orange County, and there isn’t anything wrong with that,” said Superior Court Judge Carl Fox, who unsuccessfully sought execution in about three dozen cases during his 20 years as the county’s district attorney. “A significant part of the population really aren’t firm believers in the death penalty.”

Eve Carson videos

http://podblanc.com/index.php?q=node/1465
Eve Carson videos courtesy of Podblanc.

New Pics of Negro Wanted in Eve Carson Slaying

http://www.abcnews.go.com/US/Story?id=4428568&page=2

Eve Carson
In the first set of photos, he tries to use Eve Carson’s ATM card at a drive-through teller with a second person of interest potentially sitting in the vehicle’s backseat. In the second set, he is seen entering a Chapel Hill convenience store, where authorities say he was the only customer in the store as Carson’s ATM card was used. (AP Photos)
Police have released more images of a man who they think twice tried to use Eve Carson’s ATM card in Chapel Hill, N.C., the night she was murdered near the University of North Carolina campus.

Investigators say at the very least, this man may know something about what happened between 1:30 a.m. March 5 — the last time Carson’s friends saw the 22-year-old student body president alive — and 5 a.m. March 5, when a pair of residents called 911 to report hearing several gunshots in their neighborhood.

He also may be the person who pulled the trigger, according to police.

Chapel Hill police, now drawing on broader law enforcement resources across North Carolina, released a second pair of surveillance stills Monday night.

Those stills show a young, black male with long hair and wearing jeans, sneakers and a black coat over a black shirt as he walks into a convenience store moments before someone uses Carson’s ATM card.

Chapel Hill Police Chief Brian Curran said Monday night that the man was the only person in the store when Carson’s ATM card was used.

The convenience store images follow two stills released this weekend that showed a young, black male with long hair tucked beneath a Houston Astros baseball cap. The man is driving a car — perhaps Carson’s Toyota Highlander, police say — as he stops in front of a drive-through ATM and tries to make a withdrawal.

Police believe the person in the store and in the car is the same man. On Monday, Chapel Hill police also announced that there was potentially a second person of interest, after a close examination of the drive-through ATM photos showed what may be the outline of a second person sitting behind the driver’s seat.

“Questions have surfaced about an individual possibly seated in the rear passenger seat of the vehicle,” Chapel Hill police said in a statement Monday. “We do believe there is a second unidentified male seated in the rear seat. We have been exploring ways to enhance the quality of this photo in an effort to learn more about this person.”

Police said Monday evening that Carson’s ATM card was being used at both locations, but declined to say whether money was successfully withdrawn from Carson’s account. Authorities have maintained since Carson’s body was found last week that the murder appears to be a random crime.

Carson’s sport utility vehicle was found parked a few blocks from her off-campus home Thursday afternoon, more than a day after her shooting death. Authorities hope that someone who saw the man in the photographs either at the store or in the vehicle will come forward.

The UNC board of trustees has offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in Carson’s killing. As student body president, the pre-medicine double biology and political science major also served as a board member.

Search warrants filed in the case revealed that police found Carson’s cell phone near a shopping center on the road that connects the towns of Chapel Hill and Durham. Authorities have not recovered her wallet or keys and are searching a student laptop and memory cards from her campus office.

Negro suspect in Carson slaying

March 9, 2008 4 comments

http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/03/08/student.killed/(CNN) — Photographs of a “person of interest” in the case of slain college student Eve Carson show him possibly using her ATM card, said Chief Brian Curran of the Chapel Hill, North Carolina, police on Saturday.

art.atmphoto.ap.jpg

Investigators are trying to identify the man who appears to be using Eve Carson’s ATM card in this photo.

var CNN_ArticleChanger = new CNN_imageChanger(‘cnnImgChngr’,’/2008/CRIME/03/08/student.killed/imgChng/p1-0.init.exclude.html’,1,1); //CNN.imageChanger.load(‘cnnImgChngr’,’imgChng/p1-0.exclude.html’); “This is our biggest break so far in the case. I know we’re still in just the first couple of days in this, but this is our strongest lead right now,” Curran said. “We’re hopeful that we’ll be able to get this guy identified.”

The photographs were taken by an ATM camera in the Chapel Hill area as the person appeared to be using one of Carson’s ATM cards and might have been driving her car, Curran said.

He would not say when the photographs were taken.

They show a young man wearing a hooded sweatshirt and a baseball cap, but police do not know his identity, Curran said.

Police were also releasing a photograph of the cap the man was wearing.

Carson, a University of North Carolina senior and student body president, was last seen about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday by her roommates, who were leaving their living quarters and invited her along. Carson was studying and declined, saying she had work to do, Curran said.

She was found shot to death in a suburban neighborhood not far from campus about 5 a.m. Wednesday. Video Watch police describe finding the body »

Her car was found in a neighborhood to the west, about a block or two from where she lived, Curran said Friday.

“It feels like a random crime,” he said Saturday.

The medical examiner told police that there were no other injuries to Carson’s body besides the gunshot wounds and no signs of sexual assault, he said.

Carson, 22, was a pre-med student who had a double major in political science and biology.

She was a recipient of the university’s prestigious Morehead Scholarship and a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society, the university has said