In closing arguments for the trial of Laurence Alvin Lovette Jr. Monday, defense attorneys pointed out a “missing chapter” absent from the state’s presentation of evidence — the man already convicted of Eve Carson’s murder.
Demario Atwater, Lovette’s co-defendant, pleaded guilty in 2010 to the murder of former student body president Carson and is now serving two life sentences in federal prison.
He was not called by the state to testify during the eight days of testimony.
Lovette is on trial for the murder of Carson, who was found shot to death in an intersection about a mile from campus on March 5, 2008.
Prosecutors say Lovette and 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.
The prosecution contends that Lovette shot Carson four times with a .25-caliber handgun, and Atwater fired a fifth, fatal shot from a sawed-off shotgun to Carson’s right temple.
Defense attorney Karen Bethea-Shields noted Atwater’s absence and the absence of other witnesses potentially connected to the case.
“Demario Atwater was not brought into this court even after pleading guilty,” Bethea-Shields said. “He could have answered many of the questions many of you still have.”
During opening arguments, Bethea-Shields said she planned to show jurors that there would be more questions than answers at the end of the trial. She said those questions would provide jurors with reasonable doubt.