Court rules Lovette will be resentenced
Laurence Lovette Jr., who was convicted of kidnapping, robbing and murdering UNC’s student body president in 2008, will be sent back to an Orange County courtroom to be resentenced
The N.C. Court of Appeals issued its ruling on the case Tuesday morning, saying it was vacating Lovette’s life sentence without parole and sending the case back for another sentencing hearing.
The ruling does not mean Lovette can’t again be sentenced to life without parole, but a ruling by the United States Supreme Court in June 2012 said that a court cannot impose a mandatory sentence of life without parole for a defendant who was under the age of 18 when he committed the crime. North Carolina then passed its own law to comply with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
Lovette was 17 when he and Demario Atwater kidnapped Eve Carson from her home on East Rosemary Street in Chapel Hill, drove her to various ATMs to withdraw money, then brought her back to Chapel Hill, where they shot and killed her.
When Lovette is returned to Orange County to be resentenced, the court must hold a hearing to consider any mitigating circumstances, including those that might be related to his age, his level of maturity and ability to benefit from rehabilitation, before he is resentenced. It could then resentence him to life without parole once that hearing is held.
In the 24-page ruling, the Court of Appeals denied the rest of Lovette’s appeals, including his claims that one of the indictments was defective, that jury voir dire was improper, that the judge abused his discretion by denying three of Lovette’s challenges for cause during jury selection and that he had ineffective assistance of counsel.