News and Press Releases

Demario Atwater Indicted In Eve Carson Killing, Federal Carjacking and Firearms Offenses Charged

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 27, 2008

Greensboro, NC – Demario James ATWATER was indicted today by the Federal Grand Jury for the Middle District of North Carolina. Anna Mills Wagoner, United States Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina, announced the return of the indictment, which charges ATWATER with offenses alleged to have been committed on March 5, 2008, in Orange County, ultimately resulting in the death of UNC-Chapel Hill Student Body President Eve Marie Carson.

“The indictment returned today by the Federal Grand Jury is a result of the outstanding cooperation and collaboration of the Chapel Hill Police Department, the Durham Police Department, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” said Wagoner. “Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall is aware of the indictment, having worked closely with Federal agents and prosecutors from the outset. Both Federal and State law violations are implicated in the tragic events of March 5, 2008, and we will vigorously prosecute the violations of Federal law committed in connection with the death of Eve Marie Carson.”

The indictment charges ATWATER in Count One with carjacking resulting in death, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2119(3); in Count Two with carrying and using firearms during and in relation to carjacking, also resulting in death, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c)(1) and 924(j); in Count Three with being a felon in possession of firearms, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1) and 924(a)(2); and in Count Four with possessing a short-barreled shotgun which had not been properly registered to him in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record, in violation of 26 U.S.C. §§ 5861 and 5871. Counts One and Two are punishable by up to life imprisonment, or by death, and Counts Three and Four by up to ten years imprisonment. Each of the offenses carries a possible fine of up to $250,000, a $100 special assessment and forfeiture as appropriate.

The United States Attorney General makes the final decision about whether or not to seek the death penalty in all Federal prosecutions where death is a possible punishment, as it is in this case. Attorney General Mukasey has not yet conveyed a final decision in this case to United States Attorney Wagoner.

An indictment is merely a formal way of bringing charges against an individual. All persons charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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