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Mark Carver Released From Jail After Conviction Overturned In Death Of UNCC Student


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.”

Mark Carver’s defense attorney Chris Mumma with the North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence says, Carver’s Tuesday release is a step  to getting him back home for good.

"We believe there is no evidence to hold him or charge him or keep the charges on him and think the charges should be dismissed," Mumma said. "I’m sure the district attorney feels differently but we’ll keep fighting for him until the charges are dismissed. And I hope eventually someone who is really investigating the case will ask for our opinion about avenues to pursue."

Carver’s fight isn’t over. Gaston County District Attorney Locke Bell told reporters last week he would try to appeal Judge Bragg’s ruling and would retry the case.

Carver’s bail was set at $100,000. Mumma said friends helped to come up with the money.

Carver was convicted of the 2008 murder of Ira Yarmolenko, a UNCC student found on the banks of the Catawba River. Carver and his cousin Neal Cassada had been fishing in the area where her body was found.

Sarah Delia covers criminal justice and the arts for WFAE. Sarah joined the WFAE news team in 2014. An Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist, Sarah has lived and told stories from Maine, New York, Indiana, Alabama, Virginia and North Carolina. Sarah received her B.A. in English and Art history from James Madison University, where she began her broadcast career at college radio station WXJM. Sarah has interned and worked at NPR in Washington DC, interned and freelanced for WNYC, and attended the Salt Institute for Radio Documentary Studies.