Laurence Alvin Lovette, 21, of Durham, listens to the verdict Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011. The jurors found him guilty of murdering UNC student body president Eve Carson in 2008. He received a life prison sentence without the possibility of parole. Next to him are his attorneys Karen Bethea-Shields and Kevin Bradley.
HILLSBOROUGH -- A jury has found Laurence Alvin Lovette Jr. guilty of kidnapping, robbing and murdering Eve Carson, the 2008 UNC-Chapel Hill student body president.
The verdict capped seven and a half days of testimony in Orange County Superior Court.
The courtroom was quiet as the clerk read the guilty verdicts, which came after nearly three hours of deliberations.
Lovette was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the murder charge.
Carson's parents, who have been a row behind prosecutors throughout the trial, sat stoically as the criminal trial concluded.
They told District Attorney Jim Woodall they did not want to speak before sentencing, but asked him to thank the court.
"This was an extremely brutal crime," Woodall told the judge before sentencing. "I think the citizens of this state, they need to be protected from Laurence Lovette. Laurence Lovette is a brutal murderer. This was an absolutely senseless murder."
Carson was 22 when police found her shot to death at the intersection of Hillcrest Circle and Hillcrest Drive in Chapel Hill, about a mile from her home.
She was an admired student leader with big plans and a wide following.
"To me here, the loss is Eve Carson," Woodall said, his voice breaking with emotion. "The loss sitting here behind me is her family, who will never ever get past this."
Lovette rose before Judge Allen Baddour for his sentencing. He told the judge he did not want to speak.
Baddour offered words.
"I sense from the family of Ms. Carson that they understand the inadequacy of the court system in making this situation right," Baddour said. "This act has no place in our society. It is not activity that we can allow to occur.
The life that Ms. Carson led was too short, but I know that she continues to be an inspiration to thousands
That is small consolation, I know, but I hope it will be some consolation to her parents and family."
Lovette pointed at his mother and other family in the back of the courtroom shortly as bailiffs prepared to usher him out of court to a life in prison. He then beat his fist to his heart.