UPDATE, 5/25, 5:50 p.m.: Judge Ted House has sent the jury home for the night after seven hours of deliberation. The jury is set to come back to St. Charles County court at 8 a.m. to continue.
ORIGINAL: The jury has started its deliberation in the case against Serghei Comerzan.
Closing arguments ended just before 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, the fifth day of the trial. The jury will decide whether or not Comerzan, 22, committed the crimes of resisting arrest and murder for the death of Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper James Bava in August 2015 in Audrain County. Bava died when he lost control of his cruiser trying to pull over Comerzan for speeding on Highway FF.
Prosecutors Scott Fox and Stephanie Watson claim Comerzan knew, or reasonably should have known, that Bava was trying to pull him over. Evidence the state gave included Comerzan’s statements to the Highway Patrol. He said he thought he had passed Bava’s car on his way to work, and admitted that he was speeding. However, Comerzan claims he never saw Bava behind him after that first pass.
Defense attorneys Charles and John James have questioned the tests the patrol did to try and prove Comerzan could have seen Bava. The crash reconstruction diagram showed at least seven seconds on Highway FF that Comerzan could have seen Bava with his crusier’s lights on behind him. The patrol admitted they had no evidence to prove Comerzan ever did that, or that Bava’s lights and siren registered with Comerzan.