Eve Carson killer, Laurence Lovette Jr. to be resentenced

I would call myself a  liberal on social issues, a fiscal conservative and – given my past experience – probably a conservative regarding criminal justice: and I say, everybody relax. Laurence Lovette Jr. will receive an appropriate sentence for the crimes he committed:

Raleigh, N.C. — The North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that Laurence Lovette Jr., one of two men convicted in the death of former University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student body president Eve Carson, will be resentenced because his sentence of life without parole was too harsh for someone under 18 at the time of the crime.

Lovette, 22, was sentenced Dec. 20, 2011, to life in prison without the possibility of parole after being convicted of first-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping and first-degree armed robbery in the 2008 shooting death of Carson.

In its ruling, the Court of Appeals cited a U.S. Supreme Court decision after Lovette’s conviction in which the court held that a mandatory sentence of life without parole for a minor at the time of a crime violates the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

The resulting change of law in North Carolina applies retroactively to Lovette’s case, the Court of Appeals said Tuesday.

A date for Lovette’s resentencing has not been set, but Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall it could happen within the next three months.

Woodall said the Appeals Court’s decision was not unexpected and that he was pleased with its findings that Lovette received a fair trial.

Lovette could still face a sentence of life without the possibility of parole, Woodall said. He could also face life with the possibility of parole.

Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour also sentenced Lovette to 100-129 months in prison on the kidnapping charge and 77-102 months on the robbery charge – sentences which were to run consecutive to the life prison term.

During closing arguments of Lovette’s trial, prosecutors said Carson endured a nearly two-hour ordeal in which Lovette, who was 17 at the time, and Demario Atwater kidnapped her from her home and drove her in her SUV to two ATMs, where Lovette withdrew $700 from her bank account.

The pair then drove Carson to a neighborhood near UNC’s campus, shot her five times and left her body in the street.

Surveillance video from a sorority house put Lovette and Atwater about a block away from Carson’s home minutes before she was abducted. Security images from an ATM showed Lovette withdrawing money while Atwater held Carson hostage in the back seat, and Lovette made statements to friends that implicated him in the crime.

“This was so senseless,” Woodall told reporters after the verdict. “I’ve heard and read about crimes that were brutal and meaningless, and there’s never been one more brutal and meaningless than this crime.”

Atwater, 26, who is serving two life prison terms, avoided the death penalty by pleading guilty to state and federal charges in the case.

Unlike Atwater, Lovette was ineligible for the death penalty under a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that prohibits the execution of individuals under 18 years old at the time of a capital crime.

Lovette is also charged in the Jan. 18, 2008, shooting death of Duke University graduate student Abhijit Mahato, a mechanical engineering student from India, who was found dead inside his Durham apartment,

According to an arrest warrant, Mahato’s cell phone helped Durham police link Lovette to the crime when he was arrested on March 13, 2008, in Carson’s death.

Lovette has not gone to trial in Mahato’s death. A status hearing is set for Feb. 18 in Durham County Superior Court.

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Alabama college shooting suspect killed her brother in 1986

Holy Crap!:

(CNN) — The biology professor charged in the shooting deaths Friday of three faculty members at the University of Alabama in Huntsville fatally shot her brother more than 23 years ago, police said Saturday.

Amy Bishop Anderson, who was then known as Amy Bishop, was never charged in her brother’s death, Braintree, Massachusetts, Police Chief Paul Frazier told reporters. Police records detailing the 1986 incident are missing, and a log of the incident lists it as an accidental shooting, he said.

An officer involved in the case told him that Anderson shot her brother after an argument, Frazier said.

Anderson, a Harvard-educated professor, has been charged with capital murder.

Huntsville Police Chief Henry Reyes said Anderson, 45, was attending a faculty meeting on the third floor of the sciences building Friday afternoon when she shot six colleagues, killing three.

Anderson, a professor and researcher at the university, was arrested as she was leaving the building, Reyes told reporters Saturday. He said a 9 mm handgun was recovered from the second floor of the building late Friday.

Anderson is charged with one count of capital murder, a crime that involved two or more intentional deaths and is eligible for the death penalty in Alabama. Madison County District Attorney Rob Broussard said officials were considering other charges, including attempted murder

Video: At least three dead in shooting

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University spokesman Ray Garner has identified the dead as Gopi Podila, chairman of the biological sciences department; Maria Davis, associate professor of biology; and Adriel Johnson, associate professor of biology.

The injured were Joseph Leahy, associate professor of biology, in critical condition; Luis Cruz-Vera, assistant professor of biology, in stable condition; and Stephanie Monticello, staff assistant, also in stable condition. They were taken to Huntsville Hospital.

Authorities have not ruled out the possibility of other suspects in connection with the shooting.

Investigators have interviewed Anderson’s husband, Jim.

Anderson had been working at the university since 2003 and was up for tenure, Garner said. However, authorities wouldn’t discuss possible motives or whether the issue of tenure may have played a role in the shooting.

Garner said the meeting at Shelby Hall was for faculty and staff in the sciences department, but he gave no other details.

The incident occurred shortly before 4 p.m. (5 p.m. ET), and residence halls were locked down 10 minutes later. An alert notifying the campus about the incident was issued at 4:42 p.m. CT.

Pressed on the amount of time that passed before a campus alert was sent notifying students and faculty about the shooting and the lockdown, university police Chief Chuck Gailes said the lag “didn’t impact the safety of people on campus and in the building.”

He said there is no specific timeframe that dictates how quickly such an alert is issued, but he said it would be an issue officials will look into.

University President David Williams said there would be a prayer service Sunday.

“We are a resilient community, and we know we will come together to overcome these difficult times,” he said.

Williams said the campus would open for employees next week but there would be no classes.

Kourtney Lattimore, a 19-year-old sophomore studying nursing, was one of about 100 students who attended the suspect’s anatomy class from 10:20 to 11:15 a.m. Friday., when the subject included neurons.

“Nothing seemed to be off at all,” she said about her teacher, who wore a pink sweater in class. “We were all shocked, like, all of us just couldn’t believe it.”

Lattimore said her anatomy class was not the only one affected by Friday’s events. Leahy — who was wounded in the shooting — taught her infection and immunity class, she said.

Reached at the couple’s home, Jim Anderson told CNN that his wife has an attorney whom he would not identify. He described his wife as a good teacher.

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Fort Hood shooting – Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan

Trying to get some information on the weapons used by Nidal Malik Hasan in the Fort Hood shootings. Chicago Tribune is reporting the alleged shooter and Army psychiatrist was armed with two guns, including a semi-automatic weapon.

And we’re not even 24-hours into this story and the Conservative Examiner is already using the story to advance its anti-gun control agenda.  Very classy.

Still no one connecting the dots between Fort Hood and the Canadian Long-Gun Registry repeal, but my bet is the National Post will be the first one in the water.

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Carolina Forest Shooting

Not North Carolina, but close enough:

 

A 16-year-old male student was fatally shot this morning after an altercation with a resource officer at Carolina Forest High School, officials said.

Trevor Varinecz, 16, an 11th-grade student, was pronounced dead at 9:34 a.m. today in the emergency room of Conway Medical Center, said Horry County Coroner Robert Edge.

An autopsy is set for Saturday morning at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, he said.

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