Police to revisit Mahato murder in wake of acquittal

Jul. 31, 2014 @ 05:34 PM

After a jury acquitted Laurence Lovette on charges of first-degree murder and armed robbery Wednesday, Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez said the department will revisit the Abhijit Mahato case – six years after his death.

“We’re going to sit down and look at it and see what we have,” Lopez said.
Lopez said he and investigators are working with the District Attorney’s Office to pinpoint any shortcomings during the initial investigation.
“We’ll be looking into addressing (those),” Lopez said. Over the past six years Lopez has made numerous changes to how the police force investigates crimes in the city, so some of those shortcomings could already be addressed by current practices. 
Even though Mahato’s murder occurred in 2008, Lopez said there are still ways to look at the investigation to hopefully find a conclusion to it.
“We’re going to revisit and see what occurred in the case, as far as the investigation (goes),” he said. “(Look at) any short comings in the investigation; there is some evidence that might need to go back to the lab.”
Lopez said as the department revisits the case there is a possibility to bring new charges against new suspects.
“We can charge others … if evidence shows up,” he said.
Investigators have to go back and see what could have been done differently. 
“Whenver we have a case like this, we like to look at it and see what can be done,” Lopez said. “Especially when you have a situation when there is a not guilty verdict found.”
His goal in revisiting the case is to bring a “positive conclusion” to it, by finding a way to bring charges and a conviction.