Monday 11 December 2017

'Let's pray' – tragic last plea of student Eve before she was shot dead in cold blood

Eve Carson: kidnapped and murdered. Photo: Facebook
Eve Carson: kidnapped and murdered. Photo: Facebook
Accused: Laurence Alvin Lovett Junior. Photo: US police
'She wanted them to pray together'. Eve Carson. Photo: Facebook
Security video of Lawrence Alvin Lovett jr

A UNIVERSITY student said "let's pray" to men who had kidnapped and robbed her, and pleaded for her life before she was shot five times in the head and chest, a US court has heard.

Scholarship student Eve Carson, (20), who was president of the student body at the University of North Carolina, was kidnapped from her home in Chapel Hill about 3.35am on March 5, 2008.

Her flatmate said she often stayed up late to study.

Her body was found at 5am dumped at a nearby road intersection and police said her death appeared to be a random act.

Demario Atwater (21) has pleaded guilty to kidnapping and killing Ms Carson and is serving two life sentences, but his alleged co-offender Laurence Alvin Lovette Junior, who was 17 at the time of the killing, has pleaded not guilty.

Police released a security video of him using Eve Carson’s ATM card. A total of $1,400 was withdrawn from her account over a two day period after her murder.

Lovette's longtime friend, Jayson McNeil, told the trial Lovette had told him about the kidnapping and shooting.

McNeil said Lovette told him he and Atwater "rushed" at Ms Carson as she got into her car, where they then held her hostage in the back seat.

McNeil said he was told she pleaded for her life saying, “they didn't have to do what they were doing”.

"I asked him, so what led to you all murdering her?” McNeil told the court.

"He explained to me because she had seen their faces. He explained he shot her five times with a .25 calibre.

"She took the bullets. She ate them. She was still alive and talking."

McNeil said Lovette told him that Atwater then stood over Ms Carson and shot her in the chest.

"He explained to me he no longer heard anything else," McNeil said.

McNeil also told the court that Lovette told him Ms Carson asked them to pray.

"Even before he shot her, she said, 'Let's pray.'

"She wanted them to pray together."

McNeil had been testifying in the trial of his friend in exchange for a lighter sentence in a drugs case.

The jury also heard that Lovette's DNA was found inside Ms Carson's baby blue car and that bullets from Ms Carson's killing matched a gun that Lovette threw into the woods.

DNA specialist Ivy McMillan said DNA found on the inside panel of the driver's side was a match for Lovette.

The trial was told firearms specialists matched the .25 calibre bullets to a gun police found after Atwater's girlfriend took them to places where she saw Lovette throw parts of the weapon.

One of Ms Carson's friends, Anna Lassiter, told the court that Ms Carson would often stay up all night to study, because she was so busy in her role as student body president.

The jury will hear closing arguments next week.

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