|Eve Carson was found dead in March not far from campus. (Beth Ely/The Daily Tar Heel/File 2007)|
HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. - Search warrants unsealed yesterday describe what may have been the final terrifying moments in the life of a promising college student: Kidnapped after choosing to stay home and study, taken in her own vehicle to be robbed at an ATM, and shot multiple times.
Despite objections by defense lawyers, Superior Court Judge R. Allen Baddour released six warrants that helped police arrest Laurence Lovette, 17, and Demario Atwater, 22, both of Durham. Both are charged with first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Eve Carson, the former student body president at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Lovette's lawyer, Karen Bethea-Shields, said the warrants largely rely on hearsay from a confidential informant that could unfairly taint potential jurors
"Things that you get, you must make sure that you understand these are just allegations and evidence will come from the courtroom," she said.
Jonathan Brown, a defense lawyer for Atwater, said, "This is obviously a terrible tragedy, and we have great sympathy for the family and friends of Eve Carson. At this time, we just want to have the legal system do its job and avoid any rush to judgment."
The warrants contradict the original accounts of the slaying, which first appeared to be a random carjacking in Chapel Hill.
One warrant said a confidential informant told police that Lovette and Atwater entered Carson's home through an open door, took her and her vehicle to an ATM, and used her personal identification number to withdraw a total of $1,400 over two days.
Investigators found a bank receipt from Carson's account during a search of her vehicle when it was found a day after she was killed.
There was a partial shoe print on the receipt, and investigators said they have seized several pairs of gym shoes from the suspects' homes, the warrants said.
The informant said Carson was shot multiple times by Lovette and was later shot by Atwater. An affidavit signed by State Bureau of Investigation special agent Brian Fleming said the informant's statements were corroborated because two weapons were used in the shootings.
A warrant also said police took blood, hair, and saliva samples from the suspects to investigate whether a sexual assault took place, but Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall said yesterday that the tests are standard and there was no reason to believe Carson was sexually assaulted.