DURHAM – Laurence Lovette Jr., the man found guilty in 2011 for killing then UNC Student Body President Eve Carson, pled not guilty Wednesday in the murder case of a Duke University graduate student who was shot to death nearly six years ago.
A Durham Superior Court judge set Lovette’s trial date for July 14 in the murder case of Abhijit Mahato, WRAL reported.
Lovette, 23, was charged with first-degree murder in the Jan. 18, 2008, crime. Mahato, 29, of India, was found dead inside his apartment from a single gunshot wound fired at point-blank range to his forehead.
Judge James Hardin also ruled against motions to relocate the trial to the North Carolina coast or to bring potential jurors from Wilmington and Elizabeth City to Durham. Defense attorneys argued these measures were necessary to ensure a fair trial.
Lovette’s attorneys asked for a change of venue due to the extensive news coverage of both the Mahato and Eve Carson murder cases. The two murders occurred within two months of each other.
An Orange County jury found Lovette guilty of the murder of Eve Carson in December, 2011. He is already serving a life sentence in prison on that conviction.