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DNA In Gaston Co. Man's Murder Conviction To Get Updated Test

Sarah Delia

In May of 2008, a UNCC student was found dead in Mount Holly on the banks of the Catawba River. Twenty-year-old Ira Yarmolenko was found lying beside her car with three bindings around her neck. Mark Carver was convicted of her murder. Although he wasn't present at the Gaston County Courthouse Thursday, his lawyers were there to argue his case. 

The two Gaston County men who were fishing nearby where Ira Yarmolenko's body was found, Mark Carver and Neal Cassada, were charged with murder.

Cassada died of a heart attack before his trial. But Carver was convicted of murder based on trace amounts of DNA found on the victim’s car.

Carver has maintained his innocence and the North Carolina Center On Actual Innocence has taken up his case to get his conviction over turned. Last year, the Charlotte Observer put a spotlight on the story in a six-part series that explores and questions Carver’s conviction.

Thursday, Carver’s defense team was in court to ask for DNA to be retested and to request additional samples. WFAE’s Sarah Delia was in the courtroom and discussed Thursday's findings with Mark Rumsey.