Suspect in UNC Killing Charged in Another Student Slaying

CNN, March 13, 2008

The teen suspect in last week’s slaying of University of North Carolina student Eve Carson has been charged in a second student killing, police said Thursday.

Lawrence Alvin Lovette Jr. surrendered without incident after a four-hour standoff, police said.

Lawrence Alvin Lovette Jr., 17, was arrested Thursday morning in connection with Carson’s death.

Lovette also has been charged in connection with the January death of Duke University graduate student Abhijit Mahato, 29, a doctoral engineering candidate from India, according to a news release from the Durham, North Carolina, police.

Lovette is the second person charged in Mahato’s killing, police said.

Mahato was found shot to death at a Durham home on January 18. Five days later, police arrested Stephen Oats, 19.

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Police released surveillance-camera photos from an ATM last week. The photos showed a young man wearing a hooded sweat shirt and baseball cap possibly using one of Carson’s ATM cards, police said. In the pictures, a second person appeared to be in the back seat of the car, which may have been Carson’s sport utility vehicle, according to police.

Chapel Hill police Chief Brian Curran told reporters that authorities suspect Lovette was driving the car in the ATM photos and Atwater was in the back seat.

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[Editor’s Note: Additional stories on the murder of Eve Carson can be read here and here.]


A suspect in the slaying of a University of North Carolina student leader was charged Thursday with the killing of a graduate student at Duke University, authorities said.

Police charged Lawrence Alvin Lovette Jr., 17, of Durham, with first-degree murder in the death of Abhijit Mahato hours after he surrendered in the death of UNC student body president Eve Carson.

It was not immediately clear how, or if, the two cases were connected. The Duke and UNC campuses are less than 10 miles apart, and it appeared robbery was involved in both deaths. Mahato’s wallet and cell phone were gone, and authorities have said the two suspects in Carson’s death were caught in surveillance photos trying use her ATM card.

Mahato, 29, originally of Tatangar, India, was a doctoral student in computational mechanics. He was found shot to death inside his apartment a few blocks south of Duke’s campus in January. One arrest had already been made in his death: Stephen Lavance Oates, 19, is being held without bond on charges of murder and of robbing 18 people, including Mahato.

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Lovette surrendered around 4:16 a.m. Thursday after authorities received a tip around midnight he was inside a Durham home, police Lt. Robert McLaughlin Jr. said.

Lovette also was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon in Mahato’s killing. Separately, he was charged Thursday with misdemeanor larceny, communicating threats, contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile and common law robbery.

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