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Archive for May 8th, 2009

Open Letter to Lock Bell

Mr. Bell:

I’m not going to pretend that your job as Gaston County district attorney is an easy one, or that your performance in that job merits much criticism. Nor will I waste your time.

You need to dismiss the murder charges now filed against Neal Cassada Jr. and Mark Carver. You do not have the evidence required to convict them of the murder of Ira Yarmolenko one year ago.

It is not credible or believable that Cassada and/or Carver strangled Yarmolenko yet did not leave DNA evidence on the murder weapon. The lack of DNA evidence matching either man from beneath Yarmolenko’s fingernails is also glaring.

What is unclear at this juncture is if the state lab tests turned up clear DNA evidence from either the murder weapon or from Yarmolenko’s body belonging to someone else. If so, that person or persons is still at large.

Up until this point your office has done everything possible to solve and prosecute this difficult case. Now that the discovery process has turned up this exculpatory evidence it is clear you will not get a plea, you will have to go to trial. And you will lose.

The responsible and professional thing to do would be to dismiss murder charges against Cassada and Carver and ask for the SBI’s direct assistance in finding those responsible for the death Ira Yarmolenko.


Jeff A. Taylor

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May 2009
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