Mistrial called in Comerzan trial

1 year 6 months 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
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration moved Tuesday to officially ban bump stocks, which allow semi-automatic weapons to fire rapidly... More >>
59 minutes ago Tuesday, December 18 2018 Dec 18, 2018 Tuesday, December 18, 2018 12:28:00 PM CST December 18, 2018 in News
BOWLING GREEN - Charles Erickson, who is serving time in prison for the 2001 murder of Columbia Daily Tribune sports... More >>
3 hours ago Tuesday, December 18 2018 Dec 18, 2018 Tuesday, December 18, 2018 10:16:29 AM CST December 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A man awaiting sentencing for attacking his grandparents filed a motion Friday, seeking acquittal on one of the... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, December 18 2018 Dec 18, 2018 Tuesday, December 18, 2018 9:05:36 AM CST December 18, 2018 in News
CALIFORNIA - A Fortuna man pleaded guilty Friday to charges related to the 2017 death of his young son. ... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, December 18 2018 Dec 18, 2018 Tuesday, December 18, 2018 8:55:00 AM CST December 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Public Service Commission held a hearing on the Grain Belt Express on Tuesday. In... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, December 18 2018 Dec 18, 2018 Tuesday, December 18, 2018 5:34:00 AM CST December 18, 2018 in News
PETTIS COUNTY - Tom Belsha has lived on Crestview Drive for twenty years. He has been questioning the quality of... More >>
16 hours ago Monday, December 17 2018 Dec 17, 2018 Monday, December 17, 2018 8:39:00 PM CST December 17, 2018 in Top Stories
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A Missouri woman who told police she intentionally drove into the Kansas River while trying to... More >>
18 hours ago Monday, December 17 2018 Dec 17, 2018 Monday, December 17, 2018 6:34:00 PM CST December 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- Denico Crawley, the man convicted of murder stemming from the case of Quenten Hurt, was sentenced to 105 years... More >>
19 hours ago Monday, December 17 2018 Dec 17, 2018 Monday, December 17, 2018 6:06:00 PM CST December 17, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - A jury trial for two defendants in the death of Carl DeBrodie has been postponed, according to... More >>
19 hours ago Monday, December 17 2018 Dec 17, 2018 Monday, December 17, 2018 5:45:00 PM CST December 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Council members agreed to narrow down the number of hiring companies who applied to be in charge of... More >>
22 hours ago Monday, December 17 2018 Dec 17, 2018 Monday, December 17, 2018 2:37:00 PM CST December 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Emergency crews spent most of Monday morning removing a semi-truck from a front yard after it veered off... More >>
23 hours ago Monday, December 17 2018 Dec 17, 2018 Monday, December 17, 2018 2:16:00 PM CST December 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Motorists are advised to avoid the area near Missouri Boulevard this evening, from the intersection of West... More >>
23 hours ago Monday, December 17 2018 Dec 17, 2018 Monday, December 17, 2018 1:34:00 PM CST December 17, 2018 in News
FLORISSANT (AP) — Authorities say a 12-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed his 6-year-old sister in suburban St. Louis while... More >>
1 day ago Monday, December 17 2018 Dec 17, 2018 Monday, December 17, 2018 12:00:00 PM CST December 17, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A Missouri poacher has been ordered to repeatedly watch the movie "Bambi" as part of his sentence... More >>
1 day ago Monday, December 17 2018 Dec 17, 2018 Monday, December 17, 2018 10:18:00 AM CST December 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - SSM Health and MU Health Care will host the last of three scheduled public forums Monday night... More >>
1 day ago Monday, December 17 2018 Dec 17, 2018 Monday, December 17, 2018 3:10:00 AM CST December 17, 2018 in Top Stories
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A 57-year-old southwestern Missouri man has pleaded guilty in federal court to a $2.4 million wire fraud... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, December 16 2018 Dec 16, 2018 Sunday, December 16, 2018 9:48:54 PM CST December 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri sent out an MU Alert just before 6 p.m. Sunday to warn people about... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, December 16 2018 Dec 16, 2018 Sunday, December 16, 2018 6:45:00 PM CST December 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- From model trains to decorated window panes, there was fun for all ages at the Boone County History and... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, December 16 2018 Dec 16, 2018 Sunday, December 16, 2018 6:12:00 PM CST December 16, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 54°
2pm 54°
3pm 57°
4pm 55°
5pm 53°