Mistrial called in Comerzan trial

1 year 1 month 3 weeks 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
LAKE OF THE OZARKS - 64 years later, a different lake and nearly triple the death toll, the duck boat... More >>
7 hours ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 9:12:00 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Russian intelligence operatives attempted to hack into the online accounts of staffers on three congressional campaigns in the... More >>
8 hours ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 8:46:27 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — As Charlotte, North Carolina, celebrates being chosen Friday to host the 2020 Republican National Convention, an... More >>
9 hours ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 8:05:32 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- A cardiologist who treated former President George H.W. Bush was killed Friday morning in a bicycle-to-bicycle drive-by shooting... More >>
9 hours ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 7:34:02 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department will move into a new neighborhood over the next few weeks. In July,... More >>
10 hours ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 6:41:00 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - A Steedman man was sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges of domestic... More >>
11 hours ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 5:22:00 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
ST. JOSEPH (AP) — A Missouri man has pleaded guilty in the fatal beating of his 77-year-old grandmother while he... More >>
13 hours ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 3:59:00 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- The FBI is in possession of a recording between President Donald Trump and his former personal attorney Michael... More >>
13 hours ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 3:38:16 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY – House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty will resign from the Missouri House of Representatives effective Sunday in... More >>
16 hours ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 12:57:00 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in Top Stories
COLE COUNTY — The Cole County Sheriff’s Department responded to possible weapons violation on Thursday night. When the officers... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 11:47:00 AM CDT July 20, 2018 in Top Stories
(AP) - President Donald Trump has indicated that he's willing to hit every product imported from China with tariffs and... More >>
20 hours ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 8:52:00 AM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
BRANSON - A press conference was held Friday morning following Thursday's fatal boat capsizing at Table Rock Lake. As... More >>
21 hours ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 7:23:00 AM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
BRANSON (AP) — About 300 people gathered in a parking lot outside a tourism business to remember the 17 people... More >>
21 hours ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 7:16:00 AM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
BRANSON - The recent boat incident that killed 11 and injured seven in Branson isn't the first time Ride the... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 2:06:00 AM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Thursday evening around 9:00 pm, two cars collided head-on at the intersection of Worley St. and W. Boulevard.... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, July 19 2018 Jul 19, 2018 Thursday, July 19, 2018 11:14:00 PM CDT July 19, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A southern Missouri sheriff and a subordinate with whom he was having a romantic relationship have... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, July 19 2018 Jul 19, 2018 Thursday, July 19, 2018 10:46:00 PM CDT July 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The City of Columbia confirmed Friday the household hazardous waste collection is cancelled. The waste collection was... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, July 19 2018 Jul 19, 2018 Thursday, July 19, 2018 10:16:00 PM CDT July 19, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- More illnesses have been reported across the United States in two separate cyclospora outbreaks, federal health officials said... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, July 19 2018 Jul 19, 2018 Thursday, July 19, 2018 9:31:35 PM CDT July 19, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 68°
6am 67°
7am 68°
8am 72°
9am 76°