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DNA on car door a match to Lovette, SBI investigator says

The DNA found on the driver’s side interior door of Eve Carson’s Toyota Highlander was many “thousand trillion times” more likely to be that of Laurence Alvin Lovette, Jr. than anyone else in the state, according to testimony Wednesday from a State Bureau of Investigation analyst.

The testimony was the highlight of an otherwise slow day in the trial of Lovette, who is charged with the murder of Carson, the 2008 UNC student body president.

SBI investigator Ivy McMillan told jurors how she processed DNA evidence and presented her findings from the case, including that Lovette was a full match for DNA found on the door of Carson’s vehicle.

The jury later heard testimony from SBI agent Scott Jones, an expert in firearm and toolmark identification.

Jones described to the jury parts of the 12-gauge shotgun and .25 caliber handgun the prosecution contends were used in the crime. He also explained that several shell casings and bullets found at the crime scene were consistent with the make and model of the two guns.

But defense attorney Karen Bethea-Shields pointed out that none of the shell casings or bullets could be proven to have come from either weapon.

The prosecution also presented Carson’s clothing — a pair of blue sweatpants and a short-sleeve blue T-shirt — that she was wearing when she was shot. Jones identified several holes in the clothing, but could not definitively say they were bullet holes.

Lovette is charged with first-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping, armed robbery and felony larceny. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Prosecutors say Lovette, along with his co-defendant Demario “Rio” Atwater, abducted Carson from her Chapel Hill home in the early hours of March 5, took her to at least one ATM to withdraw money, and finally shot her to death in a Chapel Hill neighborhood close to campus.

The jury will next hear from Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Michael Sutton. Sutton mapped the location of a cellphone registered in the name of Melissa Lovette on the night before and morning of Carson’s killing.

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