Charges dropped against man in UNC Charlotte student's 2008 murder, court document says




  • In US
  • 2022-08-12 17:42:33Z
  • By WSOC

The charges have been dropped against a man once convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the 2008 death of a UNC Charlotte student, according to court documents.

According to a notice of dismissal obtained by Channel 9 on Friday, the Gaston County District Attorney's office dropped the murder charges against Mark Carver. The court document cited insufficient evidence to warrant prosecution because DNA evidence could no longer support the charges.

The notices comes more than two years after a judge overturned Carver's 2011 conviction for the murder of Ira Yarmolenko.

Carver and his cousin, Neal Cassada, were fishing near where UNC Charlotte student Irina "Ira" Yarmolenko's body was found on the banks of the Catawba River in 2008.

Investigators said Yarmolenko had been strangled and her body was found next to her car.

Ira Yarmolenko
Ira Yarmolenko  

Both Carver and Cassada were arrested and charged with murder. Cassada died the day before his trial.

Carver was convicted of first-degree murder in 2011.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Gaston County DA hopes to use DNA evidence in case against Mark Carver

In June 2019, a judge ordered a new trial in the case, citing several significant mistakes made by Carver's original attorney during his trial, including critical evidence that was never shown to the jury. The judge ruled that DNA evidence used in his trial wouldn't be admissible by current standards.

The judge also said Carver's trial attorney didn't consider his low IQ and carpal tunnel syndrome.

PREVIOSU COVERAGE: Motion filed to dismiss charges against man in UNCC student's 2008 murder

Carver was released from prison after nearly a decade in June 2019 and was required to wear an ankle monitor while out on bond. An appeals court ruled against a move to have him sent back to prison in April 2021.

In Jan. 2022, Channel 9 learned Gaston County's district attorney Travis Page was taking the first steps toward a possible retrial for Carver. Page wanted to retest DNA evidence in the case.

>> At 5 p.m. on Channel 9, reporter Ken Lemon is breaking down the latest developments in the case.

MORE PREVIOUS COVERAGE:

  • Man found guilty in UNCC student's murder

  • Irina "Ira" Yarmolenko's Death: Timeline Of Events

  • Judge grants new DNA testing in case of man convicted in UNCC student's murder

  • 'I'm innocent': Man granted new trial in UNCC student's murder released from jail

(WATCH BELOW: Gaston County DA hopes to use DNA evidence in case against Mark Carver)

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