Suspects charged in slaying of UNC student

March 13, 2008 7:55:44 AM PDT
Two suspects were charged Wednesday with first-degree murder in the killing of the University of North Carolina's student body president. Demario James Atwater, 21, of Durham, was arrested and ordered held without bond. Police said they are still searching for the second suspect, 17-year-old Lawrence Alvin Lovett Jr.

Chapel Hill Police Chief Brian Curran declined to say whether Lovett was the subject of an intense police standoff Wednesday afternoon in nearby Durham. City Councilman Eugene Brown said it appears the standoff was resolved without an arrest.

Police in Durham refused to comment, referring all questions about the standoff to police in Chapel Hill.

Shackled at the ankle and waist and with a public defender at his side, Atwater whispered "yes" when asked whether he understood the charge against him. His next court appearance was scheduled for March 24.

"I hope the arrest can ease the minds of some in the community," District Attorney Jim Woodall said.

Messages left with the Orange County public defenders office were not returned Wednesday.

Curran would not say which of the suspects shot and killed Eve Carson, 22, of Athens, Ga., who was found a week ago lying on a street about a mile from campus. The biology and political science major had been shot several times, including once in the right temple.

In the day after Carson's death, police focused their investigation on a suspect pictured in several surveillance photos using her ATM card.

The Board of Trustees at North Carolina offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in her death, and police received hundreds of tips after the first two photos were released over the weekend.

Carson was a prestigious Morehead-Cain scholar at North Carolina, where she was remembered by thousands who gathered Thursday at two campus memorial services. Hundreds of mourners filled the First United Methodist Church in Athens on Sunday at a memorial service in her hometown.

The university said Wednesday a third memorial service will be held next week at the campus basketball arena.

- Headlines at a glance


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