Eve Carson pleaded for her life and asked her assailants to pray with her in the moments leading up to her murder, witnesses testified at the trial of Laurence Alvin Lovette Jr., who is accused of shooting the the UNC-Chapel Hill student body president after ambushing her with accomplice Demario James Atwater.
Lovette, on trial for the robbing and fatal shooting of Eve Carson three years ago, is charged with first degree murder, and is pleading not guilty.
'She wanted them to pray together.'
According to authorities from the March 2008 case, Lovette and his accomplice Atwater kidnapped the 20-year-old Carson and forced her to withdraw money from an ATM before shooting her over five times.
It's a story many readers are familiar with. But new testimony at Lovette's trial reveals that the UNC-Chapel Hill student not only pleaded for her life in her last moments, but asked Lovette and Atwater to pray with her before they killed her.
Before [Lovette] even shot her... she was saying, 'Let's pray,' 20-year-old Jayson McNeil said.She wanted them to pray together.
McNeil was a friend of Lovette's when the anxious suspect called him the day Atwater was arrested. According to testimony, Lovette asked if McNeil had a place where he could hide, at which point he confessed that he had shot Carson and planned to run.
'They didn't have to do what they were doing.'
McNeil, who's testifying as part of a plea deal in a federal drug case, says Lovette told him he and Atwater went to UNC-Chapel Hill to rob a student.
When they saw Carson, getting into her SUV, they rushed her, Lovette jumping into the driver's seat and Atwater getting the back, his gun pointed at Carson's head.
What followed in McNeil's testimony was almost too horrific to repeat.
[Lovette] said the whole time that Eve Carson was in the back seat that she was pleading for her life and explained that they didn't have to do what they were doing, McNeil said, according to WRAL.
He also insinuated that Atwater, though not Lovette, may have sexually assaulted her. Demario was feeling her clothes and touching her in certain parts of her body.
'She was moving.'
The worst, however, was yet to come. Eve Carson had seen their faces.
He explained to me that he shot her five times with a .25-caliber and that she was still alive. She was moving and stuff, McNeil testified.
Demario Atwater stood over top of her with a 14-guage and shot her in the chest. He said he no longer heard anything out of her. She was dead.
Atwater Pleads Guilty
Laurence Lovette Jr. continues to plead not guilty to the charges of first-degree murder against him.
His attorney has asked the judge to bar the prosecutors from presenting evidence in the murder of another college victim, Duke student Abhijit Mahato, in the Carson case. The judge, however, has ruled in favor of the prosecution.
Lovette's accomplice Demario James Atwater pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and other charges earlier this week. He will serve two life sentences.