HILLSBOROUGH — Prosecutors trying Laurence Alvin Lovette Jr. on charges that he kidnapped, robbed and murdered the 2008 UNC-Chapel Hill student body president rested their case this afternoon in Orange County Superior Court.
Judge Allen Baddour rejected a motion for dismissal of the case by the defense.
The defense does not plan to put on evidence.
Closing arguments are set for Monday.
The prosecution's last witness was an SBI agent who reviewed enhanced images from surveillance camera footage taken at an ATM where Eve Carson's bank card was used shortly before her death.
James M. Trevillian, an agent with the SBI for 19 years, said he could see two people in the back seat of Carson's Toyota Highlander.
The images were shown to the jury on the seventh day of testimony in a trial that has included an array of witnesses who range from seasoned investigators from the Chapel Hill police department, the SBI and FBI and acquaintances of Lovette's who have police records.
Prosecutors contend Carson was abducted shortly after 3:30 a.m. March 5 from her Friendly Lane home. They argue that Lovette and an accomplice forced her into the backseat of her Highlander and drove her to ATMs in Chapel Hill and Durham, where they forced the withdrawal of $1,400 her daily limit before shooting her to death with a handgun and shotgun in the middle of a dark and quiet street about a mile from her home.
DeMario Atwater, 25, has pleaded guilty to carjacking, kidnapping, robbing and murdering Carson.
Prosecutors contend Lovette is the man whose face and upper body can be seen in the surveillance video from one of the ATMs where money was withdrawn.
The images of the backseat are shadowy and blurry, but Trevillian pointed out movement that indicated to him the presence of two people.
Before Trevillian took the stand, an SBI agent described an interview with Atwater's girlfriend on the day of his arrest. Shanita Love, the woman who lived with Atwater, was slow during that first interview to give up the name of the Durham teen who prosecutors contend was the convicted killer's accomplice in the shooting death of Carson.
Shanita Love, the 24-year-old woman who was living with Atwater at the time of the violent death, was inside a Chapel Hill police department interview room on March 12, the day her boyfriend was arrested.
SBI Agent Philip Stevens, who had gotten involved in the homicide investigation only two days earlier, said Love initially would not give up the name of Atwater's accomplice. Then she only provided Stevens the initials "L.A.," a nickname she used for Lovette. Then she would only give up the initial "A," then finally divulged the name Alvin Lovette.
Stevens went to the second floor of the Chapel Hill police station then, gave the name to investigator Celisa Lehew and she handed him a photo of Lovette to take downstairs with him.
Love, according to Stevens, confirmed that was the same person she was talking about and signed the photograph to indicate that.
Lovette has pleaded not guilty.
His defense team maintains that key witnesses for the prosecution had "motive" and "bias" to implicate their client.
Stevens elaborated further on other interviews with Love, saying she helped provide investigators with a big break in their case details about locations or people who could help them find the handgun and shotgun used in the killing.
Stevens testimony capped a morning in which a special agent with the FBI testified that cell phone tower records show Lovette's phone in Chapel Hill at 3:02 a.m., less than 0.3 miles from Carson's home.
In the hours prior to and after that connection, all cell phone activity went through a cell phone tower in Durham, SBI Agent Michael Sutton said.