The man who admitted to killing former UNC student body president Eve Carson was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday.

Demario Atwater, 24, pleaded guilty in April to five federal charges including kidnapping and carjacking resulting in death. Atwater’s plea allowed him to avoid the death penalty at the federal level. Along with Laurence Lovette, Atwater is accused of kidnapping and murdering the 22-year-old University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student in March 2008.

In addition to being sentenced to life in prison, Atwater was ordered to pay more than $212,000 in restitution if he is ever released. Federal District Court Judge James Beatty, though, noted that such a release is highly unlikely, The (Raleigh) News & Observer reported.

Atwater and Lovette, 19, allegedly kidnapped Carson from her Chapel Hill home early in the morning of March 5, 2008. Investigators say the two men commandeered Carson’s SUV and forced her to withdraw $1,400 from several ATMs. Police say the two men then shot her five times and dumped her body at the intersection of Hillcrest Circle and Hillcrest Road in Chapel Hill.

At his sentencing, Atwater looked directly at Carson’s parents, who were seated in the front row of the Winston-Salem courtroom, and apologized, according to The (Raleigh) News & Observer.

“I’m sorry for everything that’s happened,” he said, according to the paper. “No matter what the court did today it would be far from anything I should receive.”

The Carsons declined to speak, the paper reported.

Lovette, Atwater’s alleged accomplice, is being charged with murder, kidnapping and robbery in Orange County. He will not face the death penalty because he was 17 at the time of Carson’s death. He is also accused of robbing and murdering Duke graduate student Abhijit Mahato at Mahato’s off-campus apartment in Durham in January 2008. Lovette faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment for both killings.

—from staff reports