Sentence reduced for "Audi of death" driver who killed a boy, and a father of three in Nis
Commenting on the sentence, the judge explained that the defendant is a young man who had no prior convictions
The Appellate Court in Nis has sentenced Nemanja Stamenkovic (20) from Belgrade to six years in prison for causing a traffic accident in which pedestrians Andrej Prenkljusaj (12) and the father of three Dejan Ilic (48) lost their lives.
In that way, the verdict of the Basic Court in Nis passed in July 2021 which sentenced Stamenkovic to seven years in prison for a serious act against the safety of public traffic was overturned.
"The Appellate Court partially accepted the defense counsel's appeal, only in the part of the decision on the criminal sanction and sentenced the accused Nemanja Stamenkovic to six years in prison for the crime he committed, instead of the seven he was sentenced to in the first instance verdict, while a ban on driving category B vehicles for a period of five years remains. He is under obligation to pay the court costs, and the injured parties have been referred to litigation in order to realize their property legal claim," said Snezana Milosevic, a spokesperson for this judicial institution.
It was clarified that the court assessed the established mitigating circumstances in a slightly different way compared to the first instance, and in terms of the provisions of the law regulating sentencing, it found that the six-year prison sentence was adequate for both the act and the perpetrator.
The horrific accident occurred on January 4 of last year at around 8:30 pm on Medijana Boulevard, when Stamenkovic, driving an Audi A6 Quatro at a speed of 131 kilometers per hour on a road where maximum allowed speed is 60 kilometers per hour, drove off the road and onto the sidewalk, mowing down pedestrians. Due to the force of the impact, the child was thrown over the fence of the Nis water supply system building and died on the spot, while Dejan Ilic succumbed to his injuries soon after in the Nis hospital.
Explaining the first-instance verdict, the judge of the Basic Court Gordana Petrovic said at the time that the presented evidence undoubtedly established that Stamenkovic committed the act he was charged with.
"From the findings of the traffic expert, we determined that traffic regulations were violated, and that the accident would not have happened if the driver was moving at legal speed. From the expert investigation of the Commission of Experts of the Institute of Forensic Medicine, we also concluded that the cause of the accident was speeding, because the memory of the driver was preserved at the time of that event. This was witnessed by minor girls who were in the vehicle with him, so the driver is to blame for this event. For that reason, we did not accept his defense because it was contrary to the evidence presented. We established that he was of sound mind and that he committed the crime out of negligence, he was aware that the crime he committed was forbidden because he was a driver, and he himself said that he knew the speed limit on that road," Judge Petrovic said in the verdict.
Commenting on the original sentence, the judge explained that the defendant was a young man who had not been convicted before.
"The basis for mitigating the sentence is that it is a young adult, there are other mitigating circumstances on his side. However, what distinguishes this accident from others is that there is no contribution from the victims, the accident occurred outside the road. Every life is equally important, but two lives have been lost here, one of which is a child's life. Having in mind the severity of the consequences, such a sentence (seven years) has been imposed," said Judge Petrovic during the passing of the first instance verdict.
Immediately before the verdict was pronounced, Stamenkovic addressed the families of the victims and apologized to them.
"I plead for your forgiveness, I am very sorry for what happened. I would like to return back time, for everyone to be alive and healthy," said this Belgrader. During the court proceedings, he denied he was guilty and claimed that he had been taken ill while driving, which allegedly caused a temporary loss of memory. However, experts found that he was fully conscious, and suffers from the lack of empathy and has no "authentic sense of guilt."
The verdict of the Appellate Court is final, there is only the possibility of declaring extraordinary legal remedies that do not delay the execution of the decision.
Video: Serious accident in Nis: A motorcyclist hits a man at a pedestrian crossing, the victim passes away
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