DURHAM: Judge will not dismiss murder charges against Lovette - FOX Carolina 21

Judge will not dismiss charges against Lovette in Duke student's death

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Laurence Lovette is charged with murder in the 2008 death of Abhijit Mahato. Laurence Lovette is charged with murder in the 2008 death of Abhijit Mahato.

A Superior Court judge ruled Friday that 6-year-old charges against a man accused of murdering a Duke University graduate student will not be dismissed.

Laurence Alvin Lovette, who is serving a life sentence in the murder of former University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student body president Eve Carson, is charged with killing Abhijit Mahato. Mahato was found dead in his off-campus apartment in Durham in 2008 just two months prior to Carson's murder.

Lovette's attorneys had asked Superior Court Judge Jim Hardin to throw out the case because the prosecution had testimony from a witness that the defense said it was not made aware of until recently.

The defense said it learned on Monday that police interviewed a woman who said Lovette and another man admitted to killing Mahato and laughed about it after watching news reports of another man's arrest in the case.

"We're prejudiced on our showing of that because we don't know what she said on the 17th of October in 2008, and it can't be reproduced at this point," defense attorney Kevin Bradley said.

Hardin, however, ruled Friday morning that the charges against Lovette will not be dropped because there was "not enough evidence that DA did not act in good faith."

Lovette's attorneys additionally asked that the testimony be blocked; but rather than blocking the testimony, Hardin said there would be limitations to how the testimony can be used.

The prosecution argued the testimony should remain because "there is nothing that changes the statements."

"We're not arguing that the notes we're turned over late," attorney Stormy Ellis said. "However, what we are arguing is that there is no surprise in this."

Hardin said on Monday that Lovette turned down a plea offer from the state.

In February 2013, murder charges against Stephen Lavance Oates in Mahato's death were dropped.


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