A mistrial has been declared in the anti-gay hate crime murder trial of 21-year-old Aleksandr Shevchenko, accused of killing Fijian-immigrant Satendar Singh at a lake outside Sacramento over the Independence Day holiday in 2007.
Shevchenko and another suspect, 29-year-old Andrey Vusik of West Sacramento, reportedly attacked Singh, 25, while he was picnicking with friends after taunting him over his race and sexuality. Friends claim Singh’s attackers made racial and homophobic remarks to Singh before assaulting him with what some claim were a pair of brass knuckles. Singh fell to the ground bleeding and died four days later in the hospital. [Background]
The Sacramento Bee reports: “After more than four days of tense deliberations, the jury of seven women and five men could not agree on whether the defendant was involved in the confrontation because he believed Singh was gay. The panel emerged before noon and told Judge Gary S. Mullen that they were “irrevocably deadlocked” on the hate- crime allegation that Aleksandr Shevchenko, 22, faced for his role in last year’s fight. The Sacramento man was found guilty on two misdemeanor counts: disturbing the peace and simple assault for throwing a bottle. He could face a maximum sentence of about nine months in jail when he returns to court on July 11. It remained unclear Wednesday whether the District Attorney’s Office would re-try Shevchenko on the controversial hate-crime charge.”
Seven jurors believe Shevchenko is guilty of the hate crime charge, five do not. More details from the Bee…
As in Stephen Moller’s murder of Sean Kennedy in South Carolina, another killer is likely to get off easy.