Superior Court Judge Chris Bragg has overturned Mark Carver’s murder conviction and ordered a new trial. Mr. Carver had been convicted in 2011 of the murder of a UNC Charlotte student.
Chris Mumma, executive director of the North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence, represents Mr. Carver. She argued and the court ruled that Mr. Carver received ineffective assistance of counsel where trial counsel failed to adequately investigate DNA evidence. In a two-week evidentiary hearing, Mumma presented evidence questioning the validity of the DNA evidence, citing newer DNA guidelines. “Touch DNA” evidence was the only evidence placing Mr. Carver at the crime scene.
The court also found that trial counsel should have investigated medical evidence related to whether Carver was physically capable of committing the crime. Additionally, the court found that trial counsel failed to have Mr. Carver psychologically evaluated, despite evidence of intellectual disability.
Media accounts stated that District Attorney Locke Bell will appeal Judge Bragg’s ruling to the North Carolina Court of Appeals.
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