Mistrial called in Comerzan trial

2 months 3 weeks 6 days ago Friday, May 26 2017 May 26, 2017 Friday, May 26, 2017 2:04:00 PM CDT May 26, 2017 in Continuous News
By: Meg Hilling, KOMU 8 Reporter, Annie Hammock, KOMU 8 Interactive Director and Daniel Perreault, KOMU 8 Digital Producer
loading

ST. CHARLES - A judge declared a mistrial in the case against Serghei Comerzan Friday afternoon. Jurors were not able to come to a consensus. 

"We are very disappointed in the decision," said Jim Bava, James Bava's father. "We thought there was clear and overwhelming evidence to show that Serghei Comerzan did use highways as his personal race track."

Prosecuting attorney Jacob Shellabarger echoed a similar sentiment in a statement. 

"The jury's failure to reach a verdict today does not end the Bava family's pain at the loss of their son, brother, fiancée, and shinning light," prosecuting attorney he said. "Although we are disappointed that the jury did not convict Mr. Comerzan, my office, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, and the court system remain prepared to try the case to a verdict. This trial jury should be commended for their focus , dedication and thorough commitment to fully considering the law as applied to the facts of this case. Being a juror in a multi-day, complex jury trial is one of the most challenging tasks our justice system asks of ordinary citizens - to follow their duty and solemn oath to put the state to prove a defendant guilty."

Bava's father says that he believes that the majority opinion was in favor a guilty verdict.

"The juror informant came out and said the overwhelming majority was one way. We believe that was guilty" Bava said. "There was obviously one hold out, or two possibly, but no one will know. But the majority was going one way, we believe that was a guilty verdict."

Earlier in the day, the judge ordered the jurors to continue deliberating after the reported being at an impasse. 

Comerzan was charged with second degree murder in the death of state trooper James Bava, who died when his patrol car crashed while he was pursuing Comerzan at more than 100 miles per hour.

Comerzan was driving his motorcycle 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.

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.

 [EDITOR'S NOTE: THIS STORY HAS BEEN UPDATED TO INCLUDE A STATEMENT FROM PROSECUTING ATTORNEY JACOB SHELLABARGER AND AN INTERVIEW WITH JIM BAVA, JAMES BAVA'S FATHER.]

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA – School is back in session for Columbia students, but some school districts across the country are struggling with... More >>
47 minutes ago Tuesday, August 22 2017 Aug 22, 2017 Tuesday, August 22, 2017 4:57:00 PM CDT August 22, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Boone County Commission issued abatements for three Boone County properties Tuesday. One property is located on... More >>
1 hour ago Tuesday, August 22 2017 Aug 22, 2017 Tuesday, August 22, 2017 3:55:00 PM CDT August 22, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - As part of Columbia City Manager Mike Matthes’ proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year, paratransit rides will... More >>
2 hours ago Tuesday, August 22 2017 Aug 22, 2017 Tuesday, August 22, 2017 3:43:00 PM CDT August 22, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - U.S. Representative Vicky Hartzler visited the Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital Tuesday to talk to local veterans.... More >>
2 hours ago Tuesday, August 22 2017 Aug 22, 2017 Tuesday, August 22, 2017 3:13:00 PM CDT August 22, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri lawmaker who temporarily posted a social media remark hoping for President Donald Trump's assassination... More >>
3 hours ago Tuesday, August 22 2017 Aug 22, 2017 Tuesday, August 22, 2017 2:26:00 PM CDT August 22, 2017 in News
THEODOSIA (AP) — The Latest on a girl whose burned remains were found in rural Missouri (all times local): ... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, August 22 2017 Aug 22, 2017 Tuesday, August 22, 2017 10:08:00 AM CDT August 22, 2017 in Continuous News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Latest on Missouri's planned execution of inmate Marcellus Williams (all times local): 3:15 p.m.... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, August 22 2017 Aug 22, 2017 Tuesday, August 22, 2017 6:30:00 AM CDT August 22, 2017 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA — Thousands of people traveled to Columbia and the surrounding cities to view a once in a lifetime event,... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, August 22 2017 Aug 22, 2017 Tuesday, August 22, 2017 2:28:00 AM CDT August 22, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council met Monday to get rid of a proposal for a contracted event designed to... More >>
19 hours ago Monday, August 21 2017 Aug 21, 2017 Monday, August 21, 2017 10:04:00 PM CDT August 21, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The general public listened to the proposed 2018 Jefferson City Fiscal Budget for the first time at... More >>
21 hours ago Monday, August 21 2017 Aug 21, 2017 Monday, August 21, 2017 7:56:00 PM CDT August 21, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Construction workers are wrapping up the building expansion on the Columbia Boys and Girls Club. The Boys... More >>
22 hours ago Monday, August 21 2017 Aug 21, 2017 Monday, August 21, 2017 7:04:00 PM CDT August 21, 2017 in News
FULTON - A car theft in Fulton led to a wreck that left three hospitalized Monday afternoon. According to... More >>
22 hours ago Monday, August 21 2017 Aug 21, 2017 Monday, August 21, 2017 7:04:00 PM CDT August 21, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia’s city council held its first of three public hearings for the fiscal year 2018 Annual Budget Monday... More >>
23 hours ago Monday, August 21 2017 Aug 21, 2017 Monday, August 21, 2017 6:08:00 PM CDT August 21, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Jefferson City eclipse events officially ended Monday evening and, according to Jefferson City Convention and Visitors Bureau... More >>
23 hours ago Monday, August 21 2017 Aug 21, 2017 Monday, August 21, 2017 5:53:00 PM CDT August 21, 2017 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - Gasps and cheers went up from crowds from around the world gathered across mid-Missouri for the total solar... More >>
1 day ago Monday, August 21 2017 Aug 21, 2017 Monday, August 21, 2017 3:44:00 PM CDT August 21, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The total solar eclipse lasted for only a few short minutes, but the anticipation of the rare... More >>
1 day ago Monday, August 21 2017 Aug 21, 2017 Monday, August 21, 2017 3:39:00 PM CDT August 21, 2017 in News
BOONVILLE – Eclipse viewers gathered at the Boonville Airport to watch the total solar eclipse in a point of 100... More >>
1 day ago Monday, August 21 2017 Aug 21, 2017 Monday, August 21, 2017 3:28:00 PM CDT August 21, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri began classes Monday with the second highest retention rate in the university's history, according... More >>
1 day ago Monday, August 21 2017 Aug 21, 2017 Monday, August 21, 2017 3:27:00 PM CDT August 21, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 82°
6pm 79°
7pm 78°
8pm 72°
9pm 69°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

5:30p
NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
6:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 6
6:30p
Wheel of Fortune
5:30p
American Dad!
6:00p
Family Guy
6:30p
Family Guy

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
America's Got Talent
9:01p
Hollywood Game Night
7:00p
The Flash
8:00p
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld