Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Shavonne Potts
Salisbury Post
KANNAPOLIS ó A trial for a southern Rowan County man who tried to kill his aunt and set fire to a neighbor’s home in 2005 is scheduled to begin Jan. 14.
David Matthew Lovett, now 27, faces a lengthy prison term if convicted of attempted first-degree murder, assault with a deadly weapon with the intent to kill inflicting serious injury, second-degree arson, larceny after breaking and entering and second-degree burglary.
On Sept. 23, 2005, Rowan County sheriff’s deputies went to the home at 1030 Pond Court, where they found Rita Regis bleeding from stab wounds in her face and arms.
She told deputies she had argued with Lovett, her nephew, and he stabbed her and left the house.
Deputies immediately began searching for Lovett and then learned of a house fire at 390 Western Acres Drive, not too far from Regis’ home.
Later, the Rowan County Fire Marshal Office determined the fire was intentionally set, and investigators said Lovett started the fire after breaking into the residence of Scott Everhart.
They believe he started the fire to disguise his burglary, and court reports and a warrant indicate Lovett stole jewelry and more than $2,000 in hand tools from the house.
Records also indicate Everhart was an acquaintance of Lovett’s.
Lovett still wasn’t done, law enforcement investigators say. They charge he took a sandwich, a Mountain Dew and a 12-pack of Marlboro cigarettes from Watts BP.
Investigators arrested Lovett the same night the crimes were committed. Regis, his aunt, recovered from her wounds, and Lovett has been in the Rowan County jail since his arrest.
Lovett’s trial was supposed to begin in mid-2007, but his attorney requested additional time for a mental evaluation as well as time for his attorney to prepare for the case.According to his file, Lovett has undergone an psychiatric evaluation at the state’s Dorothea Dix Hospital.
Lovett’s first attorney, James Randolph, indicated in court paper that mental health professionals examined Lovett in New York ó before he moved to Kannapolis ó and felt he was suffering from Bipolar Disorder, a condition sometimes referred to as manic depression, as alcoholism.
In court records, Lovett’s current attorney, China Grove’s Thomas Brooke, has indicated he will use a defense of insanity or mental infirmity.
According to those records, Lovett does not have the “ability to formulate specific intent.” Based on findings from psychologist Jerry Noble, Lovett “does not have the mental capacity” to commit or attempt to commit murder.
Court records also show that an attorney for Regis, Lovett’s aunt, wants more than $2,000 compensation for plastic surgery she underwent at Cabarrus Ear, Nose, Throat and Facial Plastic Surgery.Lovett was previously convicted in 2004 of being intoxicated and disruptive, resisting a public officer, injury to personal property, communicating threats and injury to real property ó all misdemeanors.
Lovett’s aunt is expected to testify as well as investigators with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office and a psychologist.
Contact Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253 or spotts@salisburypost.com.

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