Date Set For Hearing That Could Set UNCC Student's Convicted Killer Free

A judge has set the date for when a Gaston County man will find out if his murder conviction will be upheld, retried or thrown out.

GASTONIA, N.C.-- A judge has set the date for when a Gaston County man will find out if his murder conviction will be upheld, retried or thrown out.

During a contentious two-hour hearing on Monday morning, Judge W. David Lee ordered an evidentiary hearing to take place on September 25, which will determine the fate of Mark Carver's bid for innocence.

Carver was convicted in the 2008 death of UNC Charlotte student Ira Yarmolenko, but he has maintained he was wrongly convicted.

At the time, the case made national headlines and was even featured on NBC's "Dateline".

The North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence's Chris Mumma is now representing Carver after filing an appeal in December 2016 saying his original attorneys failed to adequately represent him.

Since then, both Mumma and District Attorney Locke Bell have accused each other of not providing critical pieces of evidence to move forward in the appeal.

At Monday's hearing Judge Lee expressed frustration over the back-and-forth allegations.

"I'm getting pretty short-tempered," he said. "September 25, good lord willing, I'm going to be right here, and we are going to proceed with this hearing for whatever time it takes."

After the hearing, Mumma expressed confidence she will prove her client's innocence.

"I believe we'll walk him out of court that day," she said. "At a minimum, Mark Carver deserves a new trial."

District Attorney Bell has maintained Carver was properly convicted by a jury.

He declined to talk on-camera after the hearing.

In a text message, he said he was "busy doing contacts per judge."

Carver is expected in court for the September 25 hearing.

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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