Authorities have apprehended one suspect in the homophobic July killing of Fijian-immigrant Satendar Singh, and the FBI is reportedly assisting in the pursuit of an additional fugitive overseas.
Aleksandr Shevchenko, 21, has been arrested and appeared in Sacramento Superior Court on Wednesday afternoon to face charges of involuntary manslaughter and intimidating and interfering with a victim’s rights. Shevchenko posted bail and was released Wednesday night but was scheduled to return to court on August 22 after his arraignment was postponed.
Shevchenko and the other suspect, 29-year-old Andrey Vusik of West Sacramento, reportedly attacked Singh, 25, while he was picnicking with friends over the Independence Day holiday 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: “Another witness, Folsom resident Wolfgang Chargin, earlier spoke with The Bee about the incident. He said he had watched an increasingly angry interaction that day at Lake Natoma, in which two groups were shouting. Chargin said the Russian-speaking group seemed especially offended by Singh, 26, who was dancing with both men and women. At one point, Chargin said, Singh’s party went into the water and a man from the other group walked over and spit on their blankets. The man then went to the lake’s edge and shouted something at Singh’s group that they seemed to find especially shocking, Chargin said. Chargin said he did not hear the anti-gay and racial slurs Singh’s group later reported to authorities. Sheriff’s officials have said that both Singh’s party and Vusik’s group exchanged verbal jabs for several hours that day.”
Vusik, the fugitive suspect, is reportedly in eastern Europe or Russia and has told relatives that he is returning to the U.S. “once a business transaction was completed involving his export car business.” Vusik is allegedly the suspect who delivered the blow to Singh’s face.
Said FBI investigator Steven Dupre of the pursuit: “Our role is just to find the fugitive and bring him back. The process can get a little involved. It gets more complicated if the person is a citizen of that country — then it can take longer.”
FBI Aids Suspect Hunt [sacramento bee]
One arrested, one sought in death of Fijian immigrant [san francisco chronicle]
Suspect’s Sister: Death “Not a Hate Crime” [news10 sacramento]
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