The jury reached its verdict after about two hours of deliberation Monday. 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 but not on the drawstring, bag handle and bungee cord used to strangle her.
Yarmolenko's brother, Pavel, thanked the jury after the verdict was announced.
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