Judge loosens Serghei Comerzan's driving restrictions, denies acquittal

22-year-old Serghei Comerzan is charged with resisting arrest and second-degree murder in the death of Trooper James Bava. (File)

A St. Charles County judge has denied a judgement of acquittal for the man accused of killing a state trooper, but approved loosening the suspect's driving restrictions.

Court records show Judge Ted House approved the change in Serghei Comerzan's bond conditions as they relate to driving. 22-year-old Comerzan was allowed to drive Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for work. House changed the conditions, allowing Comerzan to drive a motor vehicle without any restrictions on time or place. Comerzan, however, is prohibited from operating a motorcycle.

House denied Comerzan's request for acquittal. Before making the decisions under advisement, House requested lawyers from both parties submit dates for a retrial sometime within the next ten months. House said the trial would last six days.

Comerzan is charged with second-degree murder and resisting arrest in the 2015 death of Trooper James Bava. Prosecutors said Bava died while attempting to pull over speeding motorcyclist who investigators later learned was Comerzan. However, Comerzan's attorneys argued in their motion for acquittal, declaring the state doesn't have enough evidence to prove Comerzan knew Bava was pursuing him.

Other motions filed leading into last week's hearing including the state's request to keep the defense from speaking publicly about the case, and the defense's request to reprimand Audrain County Prosecutor, Jacob Shellabarger. Court records related to those motions have been sealed.

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