Mark Carver is serving a life sentence for the 2008 murder of UNC Charlotte student Irina Yarmolenko. His attorneys say he was convicted on evidence that will not stand up to advances in testing.
SUB-HEADING: "Mark Carver is serving a life sentence for the 2008 murder of UNC Charlotte student Irina Yarmolenko. His attorneys say he was convicted on evidence that will not stand up to advances in testing."

GIST: "Mark Carver’s chance for freedom or a new trial in the disputed 2008 killing of UNC Charlotte student Irina Yarmolenko will hinge on a Sept. 25 hearing in the courthouse where he was convicted. And the 48-year-old Gaston County man will be on hand to watch. During a sometimes acrimonious two-hour hearing in a Gaston County courtroom, in which he repeatedly expressed exasperation as the opposing sides renewed long-running arguments over the sharing of evidence, Union County Superior Court Judge David Lee set the fall date to hear arguments that Carver was wrongly convicted in Yarmolenko’s 2008 death. Defense attorney Chris Mumma said in court that she will prove that Carver received an inadequate defense and that the DNA evidence used to convict him would not stand up to updated testing and reporting techniques – improvements that the state lab “consciously chose” not to use during Carver’s trial. “My expectations is the same as it has been since we filed that motion in December 2016: At a minimum, Mark Carver deserves a new trial,” said Mumma, executive director of the North Carolina Center for Actual Innocence. “Most appropriate for justice is that the charges should be dropped and not refiled.”........More than two months after Lee ordered both sides to abide by state law and share evidence in the case, the debate over who’s hoarding what still pulsed through the hearing. Last month, Mumma asked Lee to hold Bell in contempt of court for failing to turn over promised material – an allegation she repeated during Monday’s hearing. Bell and Assistant District Attorney Stephanie Hamlin countered that Mumma has not produced a waiver that will allow them to collect Carver’s physical and emotional medical records that are key parts of the new defense for the Gaston County man.........Carver is serving a life sentence without parole after his 2011 conviction for strangling 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. The cousin died the day before his murder trial was to start. Carver was convicted by a Gaston County jury in 2011 and sentenced to life without parole. Last year, the Observer published “Death by the River,” a six-part series raising questions about Carver’s guilt.
Mumma and Bell have been wrangling for months over evidence. North Carolina is known as an “open-file discovery” state in which the law requires attorneys to turn over their complete files to the opposing side. In response to one of Mumma’s earlier requests, Bell asked Mumma in writing to cite the portion of state law that compelled him “to do your research for you.” During the April hearing, Lee elicited promises from Bell and Mumma that they would exchange all evidence before any hearing on the defense request for a new trial takes place. “My only concern is: Does everybody have everything that’s out there?” Lee said As of Monday, the answer appears to remain the same – no."
Michael Gordon: 704-358-5095, @MikeGordonOBS

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