HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. — Lawyers for the two men accused of killing and kidnapping University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill student body president Eve Carson want to know who called police with what were supposed to be anonymous tips, a request that could undermine one of law enforcement's most effective investigative tools.
On Wednesday, lawyers for Demario Atwater and Laurence Alvin Lovette Jr. argued that they need to review the Crime Stoppers information, in part to see if there are other suspects that police may have neglected. Jim Woodall, Orange County's district attorney, asked Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour to keep the information out of the lawyers' hands, saying that could create a precedent that would jeopardize how police receive information in hard-to-solve crimes.
Baddour plans on reviewing the nearly 300 pages of tips and will hold another hearing Jan. 8 before deciding whether to force Woodall to hand over information collected through the Chapel Hill Police Department's Crime Stoppers program.
Atwater, now 23, and Lovette, 19, are both facing first-degree murder charges in connection with Carson's killing.
In March 2008, Carson, 22, a senior from Athens, Ga., was found dead from five gunshot wounds in the middle of a residential Chapel Hill street near the university campus. Woodall and federal prosecutors have said she was taken from her Chapel Hill apartment and her assailants withdrew money from her bank account at several ATMs before shooting her to death.
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