Innocence panel to examine murder case at UNC-Charlotte

First Posted: 9/30/2014

CHARLOTTE. (AP) — A North Carolina group is reviewing the case of a man convicted of killing a University of North Carolina Charlotte student more than six years ago.

The North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence is investigating claims that Mike Carver, 46, was wrongly convicted of killing Irnia Yarmolenko, The Charlotte Observer reported.

The Gaston County man was convicted in 2011 of killing the woman and was sentenced to life in prison. The North Carolina Supreme Court upheld the conviction last year.

Yarmolenko was found strangled May 5, 2008, three days after she turned 20. Her body was on the ground beside her car at the bottom of a 75-foot embankment near the Catawba River. A bungee cord, a ribbon and the drawstring from her sweatshirt were wrapped around her neck.

Executive Director Christine Mumma said lawyers with the Center on Actual Innocence think Carver’s claim is credible, but she would not say why.

Gaston County District Attorney Locke Bell says he’s confident Carver is guilty and will not cooperate in the group’s investigation.

“He got a fair trial. Twelve jurors found him guilty. The North Carolina Supreme Court upheld that conviction,” Bell said.