Man charged with 2nd-degree murder in Trooper Bava's death

2 years 8 months 2 weeks ago Monday, November 23 2015 Nov 23, 2015 Monday, November 23, 2015 1:38:00 PM CST November 23, 2015 in News
By: Jenna Middaugh, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

AUDRAIN COUNTY – Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers arrested a Mexico man Monday in connection with the August death of Trooper James Bava.

Audrain County Prosecuting Attorney Jacob Shellabarger said he filed charges against 20-year-old Serghei Comerzan, and troopers arrested Comerzan around 10 a.m.

Shellabarger charged Comerzan with second-degree murder, resisting a lawful stop, resisting a member of the Missouri State Highway Patrol in discharge of his official duties, careless and imprudent driving, exceeding the speed limit and failure to register a motor vehicle with the Department of Revenue.

“This weekend, I met with the Bava family and informed them of my charging decisions,” Shellabarger said. “While nothing will bring back James, the family wishes to acknowledge that the criminal case process will hopefully bring accountability to the man responsible for his death."

The probable cause statement said Bava clocked a motorcycle driving 105 miles per hour on Missouri Route FF around 8:30 a.m. Aug. 28. Bava notified Troop F radio personnel he would try to find the motorcycle.

The statement said Troop F radio personnel notified Corporal S. A. Ballard, who was in the area.

At 8:35 a.m., after two attempts to reach Bava by radio and one attempt by cell phone, Audrain County 911 dispatch told Troop F it had received two emergency calls from drivers reporting a wrecked patrol car on Missouri Route FF.

At 8:42 a.m., witnesses reported seeing a body near the wrecked patrol car.

The probable cause statement said Ballard went with the Troop C Major Crash Investigation Unit and other officers to investigate the crash.

Ballard found two eyewitnesses working in the area at the time of the crash.

“We heard a street bike coming. You could tell he was flying,” one witness said. “We heard the sirens. We came outside and heard metal scraping pavement like he bottomed out. I saw the car go into the tree line. It flipped, rolled and burst into flames.”

Another witness said he was working in the attic of a new house on Highway FF when he heard the motorcycle.

“Then I heard sirens coming so I stepped outside and seen the State Highway Patrol car coming, chasing the motorcycle,” the witness said. “When the patrol car come over the hill it sounded like it went airborne then hit the pavement again. Then I seen it hitting the trees and engulfed in flames and parts flying back across the road.”

The statement said a few witnesses were able to describe the motorcycle, which helped investigators match the motorcycle to Comerzan.

While being interviewed, Comerzan denied being on Missouri Route FF at first. He later admitted he was on Missouri Route FF and was the rider on the motorcycle.

Comerzan said his motorcycle was fast and he could “easily outrun a cop” if he wanted to.

Shellabarger said a judge set Comerzan’s bond at $100,000 cash-only.

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
BEVIER - The Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating a deputy-involved shooting in Macon County. The man whom a... More >>
46 minutes ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 10:32:00 AM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
MEXICO - Authorities responded to several small fires along railroad tracks running through town on Monday. Norfolk Southern Railroad... More >>
1 hour ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 9:59:00 AM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
TAOS, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on 11 children found living in a filthy, makeshift compound in New Mexico (all... More >>
3 hours ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 8:06:00 AM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska is preparing to carry out its first execution since 1997 on Tuesday in a bewildering... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 6:06:00 AM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill says she supports measures on Missouri's November ballot to increase the state's... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 5:58:00 AM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
AUDRAIN COUNTY - A man who found a dog "hopping" along Highway 54 with his legs and muzzle taped says... More >>
13 hours ago Monday, August 13 2018 Aug 13, 2018 Monday, August 13, 2018 9:47:00 PM CDT August 13, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Public Schools Board of Education unanimously approved a 9-cent increase in the operating tax rate ceiling... More >>
15 hours ago Monday, August 13 2018 Aug 13, 2018 Monday, August 13, 2018 8:00:00 PM CDT August 13, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Mugs Up Drive In's manager said the restaurant is back in tiptop shape after a power line accident... More >>
16 hours ago Monday, August 13 2018 Aug 13, 2018 Monday, August 13, 2018 6:49:00 PM CDT August 13, 2018 in News
MACON – A viral tweet is prompting the Missouri State Highway Patrol to warn people to call 911 if they... More >>
16 hours ago Monday, August 13 2018 Aug 13, 2018 Monday, August 13, 2018 6:20:00 PM CDT August 13, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Living Canvas, a tattoo, body piercing and art gallery on Broadway, is shutting its doors earlier than it... More >>
20 hours ago Monday, August 13 2018 Aug 13, 2018 Monday, August 13, 2018 3:09:00 PM CDT August 13, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia City Council members said the city has reached a financial tipping point and now they have until... More >>
20 hours ago Monday, August 13 2018 Aug 13, 2018 Monday, August 13, 2018 2:21:00 PM CDT August 13, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Democrats have voted to ditch a recently added tenet aimed at welcoming anti-abortion candidates. ... More >>
21 hours ago Monday, August 13 2018 Aug 13, 2018 Monday, August 13, 2018 2:05:07 PM CDT August 13, 2018 in News
MEXICO - Gov. Parson is traveling through the northeastern part of Missouri this week and he started his travels in... More >>
21 hours ago Monday, August 13 2018 Aug 13, 2018 Monday, August 13, 2018 1:44:00 PM CDT August 13, 2018 in News
MISSION HILLS, Kan. (AP) — A couple from a Kansas City suburb alleges that a $90 million billing scheme found... More >>
23 hours ago Monday, August 13 2018 Aug 13, 2018 Monday, August 13, 2018 12:03:00 PM CDT August 13, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA (AP) — Missouri taxpayers may be covering $884,000 in legal fees for a Columbia church's U.S. Supreme Court case... More >>
23 hours ago Monday, August 13 2018 Aug 13, 2018 Monday, August 13, 2018 11:28:00 AM CDT August 13, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A ballot measure attempting to limit union powers helped drive Missouri's largest voter turnout for a... More >>
23 hours ago Monday, August 13 2018 Aug 13, 2018 Monday, August 13, 2018 11:20:58 AM CDT August 13, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- The FBI has fired Peter Strzok, an agent who was removed from the Russia probe last year for... More >>
1 day ago Monday, August 13 2018 Aug 13, 2018 Monday, August 13, 2018 11:11:24 AM CDT August 13, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- President Donald Trump said it's "great" that consumers might boycott Harley-Davidson if it moves some motorcycle production overseas.... More >>
1 day ago Monday, August 13 2018 Aug 13, 2018 Monday, August 13, 2018 11:07:39 AM CDT August 13, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 74°
12pm 75°
1pm 76°
2pm 76°
3pm 78°