Czech Supreme Court to review verdict in shooting murder of Romani man in Chomutov
The verdict against Petr Benda, who was sentenced to seven years in prison for the killing of a young Romani man who was driving a van on a housing estate in Chomutov, will be reviewed by the Czech Supreme Court now that both the defense and the prosecution have appealed, according to the InfoSoud database. Benda fired a gun at the van under the mistaken impression that it was endangering people.
The file and the two appeals are still with the Regional Court in Ústí nad Labem, which should hand everything over to the Supreme Court for its decision. Petr Malý, spokesperson for the Supreme State Prosecutor, confirmed to the Czech News Agency that one of the appeals was filed by Chief Prosecutor Pavel Zeman.
"The main argument of the appeal is that the conditions were not fulfilled for the exceptional reduction of this sentence, which is lower than such criminal charges require. I would add that the defendant was found guilty of felony murder," he said. The Regional Court originally sentenced Benda to 12.5 years in prison, but the High Court significantly reduced that sentence to seven years, and prosecutors announced at the time that they would take advantage of the opportunity to file for extraordinary remedy.
Benda was also not satisfied, defending his behavior by claiming to have fired the gun in self-defense. The murdered driver was a Romani man, but the justice system does not believe the murder had a racial subtext.
"This was simply hasty, short-sighted behavior, a poorly-handled situation," the presiding judge of the appeals court senate, Martin Zelenka, said in August when explaining why the High Court had assessed the crime, unlike the Regional Court, as simple murder, not intentional murder. Benda faced between 10 and 18 years in prison on those charges.
The High Court gave him a sentence lower than the charges require because it took into account both Benda's lack of a criminal record and "a certain co-responsibility of the injured party." The incident happened on 27 May 2017 at about 3 AM near a block of prefabricated apartment buildings.
Benda's mother informed him that somebody was driving a car in such a way as to likely hit people. Benda looked out of his window, spotted a silver van, and was convinced that a crime was in progress. He loaded his legally-held firearm and ran out in front of the building where, without warning, he fired the entire chamber into the driver's cabin.
Of the 13 shots fired, eight struck the Romani man at the wheel, in his back, chest, and other place. The driver died as a consequence of the serious injuries sustained.
Benda was sober when he fired the gun and the victim was under the influence of alcohol and marijuana. At the time of the shooting the van was traveling at a walking pace and, according to footage from the security cameras on the housing estate, did not pose a danger to anybody, which is why the courts did not believe Benda fired in self-defense.
- Czech court fines seven racists for approving of the murder of a Romani man, but one is appealing - for the publicity
- Czech convicted of racially-motivated murder of Romani man is running for mayor
- Czech appeals court reduces sentence for murder of Romani man to seven years, prosecutor calls it disproportionate, inhumane and unjust
- Czech prosecutor indicts shooter for murder, refutes police report that he was responding to victim driving into people
- Czech party functionary who called for murder of gays, Jews and Roma will no longer assist MP
- Crime report filed after Czech politician calls for murder of minorities
- Czech MP and educator "understands" why some are calling for murder of first-graders
- Czech Police report low turnout for ultra-right event featuring speaker convicted of the racially-motivated murder of a Romani man
- Chair of Prague DSSS celebrates ultra-right terrorist murdering woman in USA
- Czech court releases murder suspect from custody now that all witnesses to shooting of Romani man have been questioned
- Czech Police reconstruct murder of Romani man, shooter faces 20 years in prison if convicted
- Czech Police investigating video in which non-Romani bodybuilder threatens Roma in Chomutov with murder
- Marian Dancso: Czech justice through the eyes of Filip Grznár, who threatens Roma with murder
- Czech bodybuilder's fine upheld for approving of Romani man's murder, he says he will appeal again
- Czech hospital refuses to examine young Romani man - by the time doctors agreed to see him, he died
- Germany: Anti-migrant xenophobic gunman kills 11 in horrifying spree, he and his mother then found dead
- Czech President's nominee for ombudsman says he would not deal with discrimination against Roma if chosen because that's what the courts are for
- Czech Government Agency for Social Inclusion praises town for using EU funds to create social housing
- Czech court again acquits youths accused of assaulting man because of his skin color, prosecutor may appeal
- For a third time, Slovak court acquits police of brutalizing Romani children a decade ago, prosecutor appealing
- Czech trial begins of brutal, allegedly racially-motivated assault by non-Romani adults on Romani children
- Czech gunman who murdered Romani man in his own vehicle will serve 10 years
- UK court sentences neo-Nazis for threats against Prince Harry because of his marriage to Meghan Markle
- Czech town buying real estate in troubled neighborhoods for social housing development
- † 17. 5. 1998, Orlová, Czech Republic: Milan Lacko