Mark Carver is serving a life sentence without parole after his 2011 conviction for strangling Irina Yarmolenko. Her body was found near her car in Mount Holly, on the banks of the Catawba River. Carver and his cousin were fishing downstream at the time.
Chris Mumma, executive director of North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence, is seeking a new trial, arguing that Carver received an inadequate defense and that key pieces of evidence used to convict him would not stand up to updated testing and new information uncovered in the case. In particular, Mumma claims that far more conclusive testing and reporting of DNA will undermine the prosecution’s contention that Carver’s genetic material was found on Yarmolenko’s car.
She also says Carver’s statements to police indicating that he knew the victim’s height can be challenged by interrogation video – never seen by a jury – that shows he was coached into giving the description by a detective.
In 2016, the Charlotte Observer published “Death by the River,” a six-part series raising questions about Carver’s guilt.
Source: Defense in disputed murder case wants Gaston DA punished for withholding evidence June 14, 2017
Update June 11,2019:
Last week a judge overturned Mark Carver’s 2011 first degree murder conviction for the death of a UNC Charlotte student. On Tuesday Carver was transferred and released from the Gaston County jailhouse.
Superior Court Judge Christopher Bragg overturned Mark Carver’s conviction last week citing ineffective counsel during his 2011 trial. He also found the DNA evidence used to convict Carver to be “doubtful.”