|Eve Carson and her two murderers|
One of the perps, Demario James Atwater, already made a deal. In exchange for sparing his life, Atwater pleaded guilty in 2010 to federal and state charges in the case and is serving two life sentences in federal prison. The federal charges included carjacking resulting in death, kidnapping resulting in death, carrying and using firearms during and in relation to carjacking and kidnapping resulting in death, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of a short-barreled shotgun without such weapon being properly registered. The state charges included first-degree murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon, first-degree kidnapping and possession of a firearm by a felon. Since Atwater actualy fired the fatal shot according to Dr. Cynthia Gardner, the medical examiner who performed an autopsy on Carson, he probably would have received the death penalty had he been tried and convicted.
But the other perp, Laurence Alvin Lovette Jr.. decided to gamble on a trial, which is currently in progress. Lovette's defense lawyer Karen Bethea-Shields denies that Lovette was with Atwater when he shot Carson, and contends that many of the witnesses for the prosecution will have criminal records and motives to lie. The prosecution counters that Lovette's DNA was found in Carson's vehicle. Key testimony was delivered on Tuesday December 13th. First, Dr. Cynthia Gardner testified that Carson had been shot a total of five times. Four shots were fired from a .25 caliber pistol; once to the right cheek, the back, right arm and right buttock. The fifth and fatal shot was fired through Carson's right hand and the right temple with a sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun. According to other testimony, Lovette fired the pistol, while Atwater fired the shotgun.
But even more important testimony was given by Jayson McNeil, a lifelong friend of Lovette who knew that Lovette was involved in the murder, was subsequently busted by the Feds for selling drugs, and agreed to roll over on McNeil as part of a plea deal. According to McNeil, Lovette told him that he and Atwater went to Chapel Hill to commit a robbery and that they saw Carson getting into her Toyota Highlander. They immediately rushed her and climbed into the vehicle with her, with Atwater holding a gun to her head. Eve Carson was in the back seat pleading for her life the whole time; she even offered to pray with the perps. Meanwhile, Demario was feeling her clothes and touching her in certain parts of her body. Lovett told McNeil that they ultimately decided to kill Carson because she had seen their faces.
After carjacking Carson, the perps had her withdraw $700 from an ATM, then later shot and dumped her in a neighborhood off U.S. 15-501 close to the Chapel Hill campus. The entire ordeal lasted 90 minutes. During the following two days, they used her ATM card to withdraw another $700.
Unfortunately, Laurence Alvin Lovette won't get the death penalty because he was under the age of 18 at the time of the crime. But if convicted of first-degree murder, he can be sentenced to life. What a waste of oxygen!