Local/State

Eve Carson killer to be resentenced

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

The North Carolina Court of Appeals has ruled Laurence Lovette must be resentenced in the murder of UNC Student Body President Eve Carson because a judge was not allowed to consider mitigating factors before imposing a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole.

Click here to read the ruling (.pdf)

Lovette was convicted in December 2011 of first-degree murder in Carson's 2008 shooting. A jury also found Lovette guilty of kidnapping, robbery with firearm, felony larceny and possession of stolen goods.

Following the jury's verdict, Judge Allen Baddour sentenced Lovette to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

But in its ruling, the Court of Appeals said a change in the law must be retroactively applied to Lovette's case.

Since Lovette's conviction, the U.S Supreme court has ruled that a mandatory sentence of life without the possibility of parole for a defendant who was under the age of 18 when he committed his crime constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.

To comply with the high court ruling, the North Carolina General Assembly changed the law to allow judges to consider mitigating circumstances.

Prosecutors said during the trial that Lovette and Demario Atwater kidnapped Carson from her Chapel Hill home on March 5, 2008 and then drove her around in her SUV to various ATMs in Chapel Hill and Durham to withdraw cash from her accounts. They then shot her several times and left her body on a Chapel Hill street.

Also in 2011, Atwater took a plea deal on federal charges related to the Carson's kidnapping, carjacking and murder, and is currently serving a life sentence.

In his appeal, Lovette also argued that his indictment on one charge was defective and there were problems with jury selection - amongst other things. The appeals court rejected all of his claims outside of the sentencing issue.

The case will now be sent back to the lower court for resentencing. A date for that has not been set.

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