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Ending of the trial for the death of young man from Niš: Prosecution demands 6, the family’s attorney 12 years of prison

Sentencing is scheduled for September 29th.

Higher public prosecutor’s office in Niš demanded today that Dejan Mitić (28) from Niš who caused a traffic accident on August 8th of last year, in which Stefan Kocić (20) from Niška Banja died, be sentenced to 6 years in prison. Stefan died when Mitić hit him with his car while Stefan was helping a man he never met before change a tire on his car.

                -We believe that we have proven that Mitić commited the criminal act “Serious Offence against Safety of Traffic” because he was driving an unregistered vehicle without a driver’s licence, meaning he was driving a car without needed knowledge, under influence of alcohol and drugs, which means he caused an accident while driving violently in which Stefan Kocić died. He was driving over the speed limit and was not maintaining proper distance, causing him to hit the pedestrian, so we demand that he be sentenced to 6 years in prison and be handed the security measure of a ban on driving a motor vehicle – said in her closing statement Tatjana Stevanović, the prosecutor.

Attorney of Stefan’s family, Lawyer Bratislav Stojanović, demanded the maximum sentence for the accused Mitić.

-I agree with the prosecution in the assessment of evidence, established factual situation and legal qualification, however I do not agree with the proposed sentence. Looking at everything that was established, especially that there was not any contribution on the side of the driver of the parked car, because the accident happened during the night, on a place that was well lit, so him having a warning triangle or a safety vest wouldn’t have changed anything concerning the visibility. There wasn’t any contribution as well on the young man’s part because he wasn’t standing on the road, but next to the parked car while changing the front left tire. The consequences were severe, a loss of a young life and the way the crime was committed, consummation of alcohol and narcotics by the accused, which rendered him incapable of avoiding the parked car, demands that he be sentenced to the maximum sentence of 12 years in prison – said Stojanović.

Defense attorney Ivica Knežević tried to reduce Mitić’s liability pointing to omissions of the owner of the parked car Mladen Davidović who hadn’t marked the car properly.

                -The defense does not demand that my client had commited the crime under the influence of alcohol and that he had no right to drive a motor vehicle since it was not registered. However, we believe that the narcotics did not have any effect on the accident, because it’s well known that cocaine raises the level of adrenaline and keeps the person in awake state. The fact that the car wasn’t registered also had no effect on the accident, since there wasn’t a brake failure or any other malfunction which led to the accident – said Knežević, who also recalled the opinion of the traffic expert who pointed out that the parked car’s blinking lights weren’t turned on for Mitić to notice.

Regarding the sentence, Knežević asked for a 3 year sentence, because Mitić behaved well in front of the court, hadn’t commited any crimes before, and was a father of a young child, while also having another one on the way.

                -He’s also in a very poor wealth, having lost his job because he was in jail – said Knežević.

Mitić also gave his closing statement, who got sick while speaking, so Judge Tamara Savić gave him a five-minute break to calm himself down.

                -It’s very hard for me, I’ve extinguished one young life, while ruining mine. I deeply regret everything and would like to offer my condolences to the family, I wish I could turn back time, not because of the sentence, but to prevent everything that has happened – said Mitić.

The family was not pleased with the proposed sentence.

                -Not even 12 years is enough, let alone six. The law should be changed, the sentences need to be much more severe so others wouldn’t perish like my son – said Stefan’s mother Biljana Kocić.

Sentencing is scheduled for September 29th.

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