Chapel Hill Mourns Coed, Again

A Town Mourns, Again

Several residents of Durham and Chapel Hill told ABCNEWS.com that Carson's murder not only re-opened the wounds left by Lodge-Miller's murder, but increased their frustration that the state's legal system is failing.

"People are on edge," said Alice Wisler, whose home Lovette robbed in 2006. "We're extremely sad and in shock that [Lovette] had such a history, yet still slipped through the cracks."

Eugene Brown, councilman for Durham-at-large, said Carson's murder serves as a strong reminder for the weak probation system and the lack of supervision these felons receive.

"This system is not protecting the public," said Brown, who added that he worries prisons have become "graduate schools" for criminals and that probation systems are not upheld, as in Atwater's case. "There are times in the life of a community where you collectively say, 'I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore.' I think we've reached that point."

Brown said Durham is considered the "third tier" in the Durham, Raleigh and Chapel Hill trifecta because of its large black population and high poverty level.

Durham's black community makes up about 41 percent of the city's population, compared with Chapel Hill, which has only 11 percent of blacks within the city's perimeter. Twelve percent of families in Durham are below the poverty line, whereas Chapel Hill has half that, according to the latest U.S. Census statistics.

Laurel Ellzey, a Durham resident who lives down the street from Lovette, remembers him as one of the staples of the neighborhood pick-up basketball game, and was surprised to learn of his alleged involvement in the Carson murder.

"We feel like we're a nice neighborhood, and we feel like we get along, even though we're very diverse," said Ellzey. "It's certainly not a bad neighborhood."

"Obviously [Carson's murder] helped me to remember Lodge-Miller," said Ellzey, "She was a young, attractive blond in Chapel Hill and her murder was by an African-American teenager."

A juror from the Lodge-Miller murder case, who spoke to ABCNEWS.com on condition of anonymity, noted the similarities between the Carson and Lodge-Miller murders.

"It really angers me. Why are we not doing more to help these young folks who are committing these crimes and have such bad records?" the juror said. "I'm in shock still. How could something like this happen — again?"

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