CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – Two brothers who met convicted killer Mark Carver right after the murder testified in court Friday that Carver was acting normal and just standing there fishing near the riverbank.
Mark Carver is currently serving a life sentence for killing 20-year-old Ira Yarmolenko, a UNCC student in 2008. She was found strangled near the Catawba River.
James and John Beatty testified Friday afternoon that Carver was acting normal when they met him after Yarmolenko’s body was found.
They say he didn’t seem nervous, he wasn’t wet or muddy, and he didn’t have any scratches on him.
James Beatty said, “He’s just normal he wasn’t scared. He wasn’t wet. He was just normal.”
A reporter asked, “He didn’t look like he had just committed a murder?” Beatty responded, “No, no.”
“I think they got the wrong man. I’ve always felt that way.”
Carver’s DNA was found on Yarmolenko’s car, but not on her body or the murder weapons.
The lead prosecutor during Carver’s original trial eight years ago also took the stand Friday.
He said Carver was a suspect because he was in a remote area, in a compressed time frame, alone with a girl.
Carver’s cousin, Neal Cassada, was also charged with the murder. He died of a heart attack right before his case went to trial.
On Friday, a detective testified that Yarmolenko’s car was not sealed while it was in storage, so the defense says it could have been contaminated.
The detective also said he did not take swabs of the car until two months after Yarmolenko’s car and her body were found.
Testimony to determine if Carver gets a new trial continues Monday.