Judge hopes sentencing in Lovette trial will make days 'a little brighter'
In sentencing Laurence Alvin Lovette Jr., the man convicted Tuesday of killing former UNC Student Body President Eve Carson, judge Allen Baddour spoke of hope.
“I know that the days have been long and hard for many years,” he said to the courtroom, which included a handful Carson’s family and friends. “I hope that they can become a little brighter with the end of this trial.”
Lovette was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility for parole for the murder of Carson. He will serve consecutive life sentences of for the murder, in addition to more than 12 years for all other charges.
Lovette was found guilty of first-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping, armed robbery, felony larceny and felony possession of stolen goods Tuesday morning at the Orange County Courthouse in Hillsborough.
District Attorney Jim Woodall thanked the court and the jury on behalf of Carson’s family after the verdict was read.
Defense attorney Karen Bethea-Shields said that Lovette would appeal the verdict, but that she was unsure of how the case would proceed from here.
“I’ll let the appellate attorney deal with that,” she said.
Woodall asked the court to sentence Lovette to consecutive terms in response to the charges of first-degree murder and kidnapping, and also asked for the maximum penalty for the charge of armed robbery.
“The citizens of this state need to be protected from Laurence Lovette. (Lovette) is a brutal, brutal, murderer,” Woodall emotionally said to Baddour, as he gestured to Carson’s family.
Bethea-Shields requested that the court sentence Lovette to concurrent, not consecutive sentences. She told the court about Lovette’s home life as part of a plea for mercy on Lovette’s behalf.
“This verdict will be punishment for the rest of his life,” she said.
Baddour handed down consecutive maximum sentences for both kidnapping and armed robbery.
“I know that they have chosen not to speak, and I respect that,” Baddour said of Carson’s family. “Anything the court could say will do no better than their silence in preserving Eve’s memory. It should be said that this act has no place in our society. The life Miss Carson led was too short, but I know she continues to be an inspiration not just for her family, but for thousands in this community and across this country.”
“If there can be a marker at which it can be said that the family can turn a page and attempt to move forward in whatever way they can, I hope that today can be that day for them. I know that the days have been long and hard for many years. I hope that they can become a little brighter with the end of this trial.”
Woodall said that appeals in capital cases are common practice, but that he is happy with how the state tried this case.
“I feel very good about how this case went and for the future,” he said.