UPDATE: Jury finds Serghei Comerzan not guiltyPosted on 2 March 2018 at 10:00am
ST. CHARLES - Early Friday morning the jury found Serghei Comerzan not guilty on charges of involuntary manslaughter and a resisting lawful stop.
After closing arguments on Thursday the jury deliberated into the evening but was unable to come to a verdict.
On Thursday State prosecutor Scott Fox said Comerzan resisted a lawful stop when he fled from Bava on Aug. 28, 2015. Bava's car crashed during the pursuit. The prosecution said Comerzan should have known Bava was following him.
Defense attorney Charles James contended Comerzan was not running from Bava.
"In order to flee, you have to know you are being chased," he said.
Comerzan was speeding at 105 mph on his Yamaha R6 motorcycle when he crossed paths with Bava who was headed east. The state trooper turned his vehicle around to follow Comerzan. Data from the car says Bava's speeds reached 140 miles per hour.
Fox called the hilly Route FF Comerzan's personal race track and referred to an interview where the defendant is quoted saying he could outrun a trooper if he wanted to.
"Fifty miles per hour over the speed limit is not speeding, it's crazy," Fox said.
James said speeding doesn't make someone a criminal. He said Comerzan's actions were irresponsible, but that does not mean he meant to cause Bava's death.
To find Comerzan guilty of involuntary manslaughter, the jury must believe Comerzan consciously knew or was practically certain his actions would cause someone's death, James said.
He said the prosecution can't prove Comerzan saw Bava's lights or heard the car's sirens.
"They knew they had to build a case. They didn't have a case," James said.
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