© 2017 Author(s). Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy was used to investigate a type of point defect present in 1019 cm-3 carbon-doped GaN substrates grown by hydride vapor phase epitaxy. A broad, isotropic resonance at g ∼ 1.987 was observed at 3.5 K, and the EPR intensity increased with illumination at energies greater than 2.75 eV and decreased with photon energies greater than 0.95 eV. The latter is consistent with a deep level of 0.95 eV above the valence band maximum and implies that the associated defect likely participates in donor compensation. The ionization energy for this defect is close to the predicted value for the (-/0) transition level of CN and transition levels associated with Ga vacancies such as VGa and VGa-ON-2H.