Atwater Pleads Guilty in Carson Slaying

Demario James Atwater pleaded guilty to carjacking, kidnapping and weapons charges in federal court Monday, according to The News & Observer of Raleigh. The plea arrangement leaves Atwater, 23, facing life in prison without the possibility of parole in the killing of Eve Carson ’08 two years ago, according to a statement issued by federal prosecutors.

He still faces kidnapping and murder charges in state court and could receive the death sentence there. A hearing is tentatively scheduled for next week. Sentencing in the federal pleas is scheduled for September.

Laurence Alvin Lovette, 19, also is charged with murder and kidnapping. Lovette was 17 at the time of the crime and is exempt from the death penalty.

Investigators say Atwater and Lovette kidnapped Carson, who was student body president, from her home in Chapel Hill early on the morning on March 5, 2008, forced her to withdraw $1,400 from automated teller machines and then shot her numerous times.

According to The N&O, most of the details of the case against Atwater and Lovette are sealed.

The paper reported that the victim’s parents, Teresa and Bob Carson, released a statement: “While we deplore the evil and negligence that led to Eve’s death, we agree with the U.S. Attorney’s decision to accept the plea agreement. We are very grateful for the dedication and hard work that have gone into the investigation and prosecution of this crime.”

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