After more than seven days of testimony, a jury deliberated for a few hours before coming back with a guilty verdict in a high-profile North Carolina murder case. The defendant will spend the rest of his life in prison for his part in the death of a Chapel Hill student. He was convicted of first-degree murder, kidnapping and robbery.
The crime occurred in 2008, when, according to prosecutors, the defendant and another man forced the 22-year-old woman into her car. They then drove to ATMs and withdrew money from the victim’s account. A few hours later, the victim was found dead. She’d been shot several times.
The murder conviction carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole. The robbery and kidnapping convictions added 28 years to the sentence.
The other man involved in the crime has been tried and convicted in a federal court. He is currently serving a life sentence in a federal facility.
The defendant will soon be tried in connection with a murder that occurred a few months before the Chapel Hill student’s. The victim in that case was a student at Duke University. His death occurred when Durham police were dealing with a string of robberies. Two other men and two juveniles were arrested and charged in connection with those crimes. The defendant here was charged with the Duke student’s murder on the same day he was arrested for the Chapel Hill student’s murder.
Jurors declined to discuss the case with reporters. Defense counsel said this had been a difficult case, adding that the defendant planned to appeal.
Source: News & Observer, “Lovette guilty of murdering Carson; gets life sentence,” Anne Blythe, Dec. 21, 2011