Jurors continue deliberation of Comerzan trial

10 months 3 weeks 4 days ago Thursday, May 25 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 1:21:00 PM CDT May 25, 2017 in News
By: Meg Hilling, KOMU 8 News
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ST. CHARLES - With no verdict reached, jurors will resume deliberating the fate of Mexico resident Serghei Comerzan on Friday, following a morning of heated closing arguments Thursday.

Comerzan is implicated in the death of Missouri State trooper James Bava.

Bava died after his squad car crashed in August 2015, while he was pursuing Comerzan for speeding. At the time, Comerzan was apparently driving his motorcycle 105 mph in a 55 mph zone along Route FF in Audrain County. Data retrieved from Bava's wrecked squad car shows that he was driving around 140 mph when he crashed.

Comerzan is facing charges of second degree murder, as well as resisting a lawful stop.

During closing arguments, the prosecution and the defense went back and forth as they argued whether or not Comerzan was aware that Bava was pursuing him.

The state argues there was at least a 14 second window of time in which Comerzan could have seen Bava behind him, in between two hills along the route. The defense argues that after Comerzan passed Bava, he never felt the need to look behind him.

Both legal teams frequently objected to claims by the other side, and were called by the judge to approach the bench a number of times. 

When the jury left the courtroom to begin deliberating, prosecuting attorney Jacob Shellabarger and defense attorney Charles James got into a heated exchange.

Exiting the courtroom, Shellabarger could be seen calling for security saying, "He just challenged me a (expletive) fight!"

Jurors will return to court Friday at 8 a.m.

(Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect that Comerzan, not Bava, is facing charges.)

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