Police Hunt for Second Suspect in UNC Coed Murder

Authorities have charged two suspects with first-degree murder in the slaying of University of North Carolina student body president Eve Carson, police said Wednesday in a news conference.

One of the defendants, Demario James Atwater, 21, of Durham, is in custody after a Wednesday morning arrest.

Police are still searching for the second defendant, Lawrence Alvin Lovette Jr., 17, and have obtained a warrant for his arrest. They believe Lovette is the driver pictured in an ATM surveillance photo that was released to the public last week and consider him armed and dangerous.

• Click for photos of Eve Carson

Click for photos of the suspects

State records indicate both suspects are currently on parole.

The news conference Wednesday afternoon took place at the same time that police in Durham were involved in a reported standoff at a home. A city councilman told WRAL that police had tracked Lovett to the home, but it was not immediately clear if the standoff ended with an arrest.

Officials at the news conference would not comment about the Durham situation.

Chapel Hill Police Chief Brian Curran declined to say which of the suspects police think shot and killed Carson, a 22-year-old from Athens, Ga.

Chapel Hill police and District Attorney Jim Woodall gathered Wednesday afternoon in an Orange County courtroom for Atwater's first appearance. Shakled at the ankled and waist and with a public defender at his side, Atwater whispered "yes" when asked if he understood the charged against him.

Atwater's next appearance is set for March 24. He was ordered held without bond.

Carson was found last Wednesday lying on a street about a mile from campus. The biology and political science major had been shot several times, including once in the right temple.

Her body was positively identified the next day, leading to a massive outpouring of grief at North Carolina. Thousands gathered that day at two campus memorial services, and a third is planned for next week at the school's basketball arena.

In the day after Carson's death, police focused their investigation on a suspect pictured in several surveillance photos using her ATM card. They show the suspect both inside a convenience store and driving a sport utility vehicle that may be Carson's Toyota Highlander.

Curran has declined to say when the surveillance photos were taken or the exact location of the ATM machine and convenience store, but said Monday the same ATM card was used when all four photos were taken. He would not say if any money was successfully withdrawn from Carson's account.

The Board of Trustees at North Carolina offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in her death, and police received hundreds of tips after the first two photos were released over the weekend.

Carson was a prestigious Morehead-Cain scholar at North Carolina, where she remembered by thousands who gathered last Thursday at two campus memorial services. Hundreds of mourners filled the First United Methodist Church in Athens on Sunday at a memorial service in her hometown.

The university said Wednesday a third memorial service will be held next week at the Smith Center, the campus basketball arena.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.