This story appeared as part of the 2010 Year In Review issue. The Daily Tar Heel resumes publication Jan. 10.
One man has already received life in prison for the death of former student body president Eve Carson — but the fate of his co-defendant is undetermined.
Demario James Atwater, 23, received life in prison on two counts and 10 years in prison on three counts in September for federal kidnapping resulting in death and carjacking resulting in death after Carson was killed in March 2008.
Atwater pleaded guilty in a state hearing May 24 to first-degree murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon, first-degree kidnapping, possession of a firearm by convicted felon, felonious larceny and possession of a weapon of mass destruction.
He accepted a state sentence of life in prison without parole in exchange for the state not pursuing the death penalty.
Co-defendant Lawrence Alvin Lovette, 19, is charged with first-degree murder, but his trial date still has not been set.
Carson was found dead in March 2008 with five gunshot wounds and a wristband that said “Be True.”
Tom Maher, executive director of the state’s Office of Indigent Defense Services, said it’s not unusual for a case like Lovette’s to take so long to have a court date set.
His case is different from Atwater’s because Lovette was charged in Durham with the murder of a Duke student. Because the two counties will have to coordinate, the court date could be later.