Back on January 18th, Abhijit Mahato, 29, was shot to death in his Durham apartment. He was a student at Duke University, as a graduate of doctoral engineering. Five days after the slaying, Stephen Oats, 19, was arrested and charged with the murder.
Today, it has become clear that there was indeed a second person involved in the killing; Lawrence Alvin Lovette, 17. And Lovette is apparently, not only linked to the murder of Mahato, but also Eve Carson from the University of North Carolina.
Eve Carson was a 22 year-old Senior class President at UNC, and was found brutally shot to death on March 5th, just down the road from the UNC campus. She had been a pre-med student with a double major in Political Science and Biology. Lovette is, like the Duke case, the second person charged.
In the Mohato case, Lovette was involved in the murder with as already stated, Stephen Oates. In the Carson case, which is the most recent of the two, Lovette is accompanied by 21 year-old Demario James Atwater.
Back on Saturday, the two rival schools of Duke University and North Carolina University squared off in their final meeting of the regular season. The game was held in Cameron Indoor Stadium, and in a remarkable jesture, Duke University and Coach Mike Krzyzewski helped honor Eve Carson by having a moment of silence for Carson. And as the game ensued, both teams dawned light blue ribbons in rememberence of the deceased student body President.
The game was an instant classic. Both teams gave everything they had; scrapping for every loose ball, rebound, and inbounds play...diving to the floor, wasting themselves all the way 'til the final seconds went off. North Carolina won the game 76-68, winning the ACC regular season championship, and on Senior Night at Cameron Indoor.
Coach K and Duke University deemed it a must to show great respect for the departed back on the 8th. Regardless of the "rivalry" the two universities shared, they were able to do what was best before, during, and after the game...and not to mention put on a phenomenal show with the game.
The ACC tournament has just started, and it seems plausible that the two teams could meet again. North Carolina is the #1 team in the NCAA, while Duke rests just outside the Top 5. I have no doubt in my mind that Coach Roy Williams and the University of North Carolina will return the respect and love by honoring the death of Mahato, in the light of the recent news. (If they have not already done so)
And I hope the judicial system that will eventually undertake both murder cases, as they seem to be linked at this point, will return the same honor and respect by coming up with a stiff, justified punishment for the accused/charged. Stephen Oats, Demario James Atwater, and now Lawrence Alvin Lovette have all been arrested and charged for terrible crimes, that not only have taken life and deeply affected those families, but also have stricken universities and communities with grief.
North Carolina's first game in the ACC Tournament will be tomorrow, versus Florida State...as will Duke's as they face off against either Georgia Tech or Virginia. (Whomever wins the meeting today in Charlotte)