The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Monday May 16th

Judge keeps Carson warrants sealed

Documents to remain private at least until June 27

TUESDAY, 9:30 p.m. -- Affidavits and search warrants related to the death of former Student Body President Eve Carson will remain sealed to protect an ongoing investigation, an Orange County Superior Court judge ordered Tuesday. Allen Baddour ruled that the release of the documents interfere with the cases of Lawrence Alvin Lovette and Demario James Atwater, both charged with first degree murder in Carson's death. "The right of access to criminal trials is not absolute," Baddour wrote in the order. "Disclosure of sensitive details in an ongoing, and not yet complete, investigation, including information not generally known to the public, would interfere with the ongoing investigation, and could interfere with fair and impartial trial proceedings." The order came a day after Baddour heard a motion from The Durham Herald Company to unseal the information. The warrants include March searches of the Durham homes of Lovette and Atwater. In addition to interfering with police, release of the documents could compromise the identities of two confidential sources in the Carson case, Orange District Attorney Jim Woodall argued in court Monday. "They feel that their safety is threatened," he said. He joined with the attorneys for both defendants in asking the court to keep the document sealed for at least 60 days. Attorney John Bussian, arguing on behalf of The Durham Herald-Sun, said the information should be public under both First Amendment and Common Law rights. "There has to be detailed evidence as to why an ongoing on-going investigation would be jeopardized," he said. "Without seeing it, I'm sort of shadowboxing right now." The issue will be heard again June 27, according to the order. Contact the City Editor at citydesk@unc.edu.


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