HILLSBOROUGH — Inside Eve Carsons Toyota Highlander, investigators found a sample of DNA that is a match to Laurence Alvin Lovette, the 21-year-old Durham man accused of murdering Carson, an agent with the State Bureau of Investigation testified Wednesday.
"It is scientifically unreasonable to believe that anyone other than Laurence Lovette Jr. was the donor," SBI Agent Ivy McMillan said.
Lovette is one of two men accused of kidnapping, robbing and murdering the 2008 UNC-Chapel Hill student body president. The man prosecutors contend was Lovettes accomplice, DeMario Atwater, 25, pleaded guilty last year to kidnapping, robbing and murdering Carson on March 5, 2008.
On Wednesday, the sixth day of testimony in Lovettes trial in Orange County Superior Court, two SBI agents, a cell phone company representative and an FBI agent offered methodical testimony about forensic evidence and call records gathered in the case.
The agents described numerous DNA tests, the reconstruction of a handgun and a shotgun and further tests of ammunition and casings recovered in the homicide investigation.
Their testimony came the day after a 20-year-old acquaintance of Lovettes offered chilling details of a conversation he said he had with Lovette hours before his arrest.
That witness, Jayson McNeil, an admitted crack dealer from Durham who is awaiting federal sentencing on drug crimes, offered an account of Lovettes travels and actions on the day Carsons body was found, riddled with four bullet wounds and a shotgun blast in a Chapel Hill neighborhood.
McNeil, a witness who offered his testimony in exchange for immunity and a lighter sentence in his federal drug case, said Tuesday that Lovette told him in March 2008 that he drove Carsons Toyota Highlander and shot her multiple times with a handgun.
Lovette has pleaded not guilty.
His defense team maintains there is no forensic evidence to link him to the murder.
They contend that key witnesses for the prosecution acquaintances who told investigators they heard Lovette talking about the UNC-CH student leaders violent death or were with him when he disposed of a handgun had "motive" and "bias" for implicating their client.
Scott Jones, an SBI agent and forensic firearms examiner, testified Wednesday that casings and bullets recovered from Carsons body at the intersection where she was found match pieces of a handgun recovered in Durham.
Atwaters girlfriend testified last week that she was with Lovette when he tossed out pieces of the broken up handgun in three places in Durham.
Investigators found two of those pieces, but Jones had to recreate part of the gun so he could fire it and track the trajectory of a bullet.
Prosecutors contend Lovette and Atwater kidnapped Carson from her home at about 3:30 a.m. March 5, 2008.
They argue that the pair took her against her will to two Bank of America ATMs and withdrew money from her account in Chapel Hill and Durham before shooting her to death in a quiet Chapel Hill neighborhood about a mile from her home.
The DNA evidence is the only forensic evidence presented in the six days of testimony that directly links Lovette to Carson.
SBI analysts testified they found no traces of fingerprints, hairs or fiber connecting him.
In his cross examination of McMillan, defense attorney Kevin Bradley focused on evidence of DNA from an unknown male found in Carsons Highlander.
Investigators collected DNA samples from Lovette, Atwater and a half-brother of Atwater who was not charged in the case.
None of Carsons housemates or friends, who often rode in her Highlander, was asked to provide DNA for testing.
Prosecutors contend other evidence such as ATM surveillance images, the firearms tests and witness testimony put Lovette at the crime scene.