DURHAM, N.C. — A jury in Durham has found Laurence Lovette Jr. not guilty of first-degree murder in the 2008 death of Duke University graduate student Abhijit Mahato.
Mahato, 29, was found shot in the head inside his apartment more than six years ago.
The verdict was reached Wednesday morning after the jury deliberated for nearly eight hours.
Prosecutors say Lovette, 23, took Mahato to ATMs to withdraw money from his bank account before taking him back to his home and shooting him between the eyes with a 9mm pistol.
Defense attorneys argued there was no solid evidence linking Lovette to the crime and that the testimony of one woman was not a credible witness.
Lovette was also found not guilty of robbery with a firearm.
Even though Lovette was acquitted of Mahato’s death, he’s still serving life in prison without the possibility of parole for the March 5, 2008, robbery and murder of Eve Carson.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill senior was shot five times on the morning of March 5, 2008, after she was kidnapped and taken to several ATMs to withdraw money.