Probation managers replaced after slaying

New probation managers were named in N.C. counties where problems surfaced after two offenders on probation were charged with the slaying of a university student body president, the state Department of Correction said Monday.

New judicial district managers were named for Wake and Durham counties, effective Sept. 2. A new regional manager also was named by Community Corrections Director Robert Guy.

Guy had reassigned employees in the counties after it was discovered that two men charged in the March death of UNC Chapel Hill student body president Eve Carson were on probation at the time.

Demario Atwater, 22, and Laurence Lovette, 17, were charged with first-degree murder in Carson's shooting death. Lovette also was charged with the January slaying of Duke University graduate student Abhijit Mahato.

Guy said in April a state investigation showed that about 10 staff members – from officers to managers – dealt with some aspect of Atwater's case over three years before the Carson slaying. The investigation also showed Atwater was never placed under intensive probation, despite two court orders to do so, and Lovette never met with his probation officer.

At the time, Guy said the situation was unacceptable and “flat-out embarrassing.”

Guy said Diane Isaacs, formerly the Wake County interim district manager, was named assistant chief for community corrections in a 21-county region that covers Wake, Durham and Cumberland counties.

Margaret Brewer was named judicial district manager in Wake County, Guy said. John Lee was named judicial district manager in Durham County.

Brewer will oversee 141 employees who supervise some 7,400 offenders. Lee will oversee 86 employees who supervise 4,300 offenders.

A federal agency said this month that the state's probation system had heavy caseloads, high turnover and an old computer system.