Attorneys for a man convicted in the 2008 killing of a 20-year-old UNC Charlotte student will appeal the case to the North Carolina Supreme Court on Tuesday, saying prosecutors did not prove their client had a role in the woman’s death.
Mark Bradley Carver, of Gaston County, was among two men charged with killing Irina Yarmolenko, whose body was found in her car near the Catawba River in May 2008. Investigators determined Yarmolenko, who had gone to the river to take photographs, had been strangled.
There were no witnesses to the woman’s death, but prosecutors said Carver and the other defendant, Neal Cassada, had been fishing nearby.
Cassada died in October 2010, the day before his trial was to begin. Prosecutors then dropped charges against him.
Carver was convicted and sentenced to life in prison without parole.
His attorneys will argue Tuesday in Raleigh that while Carver’s DNA was found on the outside of Yarmolenko’s car, it was not found on her body or on the bungee cord and sweatshirt drawstring that were used to kill her.
The case went before the N.C. Court of Appeals last May, but judges ruled against Carver.
Justices will begin hearing cases at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, and the Carver case is the last of three on the calendar.