Irina Yarmolenko A a man accused of murdering Irina Yarmolenko was found guilty and given a life sentence.

The jury reached its verdict in the case of Irina Yarmolenko murder after about two hours of deliberation on March 21. The judge then sentenced 42-year-old Mark Carver to life in prison without parole.

Carver and his cousin, Neal Cassada, were accused of strangling the 20-year-old Yarmolenko on the banks of the Catawba River in May 2008. Cassada died from a heart attack the day before his trial.

Carver said he was innocent. Forensic experts testified that his DNA was found on Yarmolenko's car.

Yarmolenko's brother, Pavel, thanked the jury after the verdict was announced.