Atwater attorneys request a delay

From staff reportsMay 29, 2009 

— Lawyers for Demario Atwater, one of two suspects accused of killing Eve Carson, the UNC-Chapel Hill student body president, want more time to prepare his defense in federal court.

Earlier this year, a judge set Nov. 2 as the date for hearing the federal carjacking and kidnapping charges against him.

Atwater, 22, also has been charged with murder in state court.

Gregory Davis and Kimberly Stevens, the lawyers appointed to defend Atwater, said they would not be able to do their own scientific testing of evidence and document preparation in so few months.

Prosecutors have provided the defense team with disks containing thousands of pages of reports, interviews and other documents, but several could not be opened, and replacement disks had not been provided by last week, the lawyers said in their delay request.

The defense team is trying to obtain mental health experts to conduct a thorough evaluation of Atwater, according to the court document.

It was unclear what effect a delay in federal court would have on the state murder case.

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