No-contact order, no problem for vehicular homicide suspect

EVERETT — An Everett teen with a pending vehicular homicide charge has reportedly violated a court order at least four times while out of custody awaiting trial.

The incidents all involve his ex-girlfriend, who he was convicted of assaulting in February and is banned from contacting. She has reported that he’s broken into her home, prowled around the family’s backyard and held the 17-year-old against her will in a bathroom stall at the Lynnwood Recreation Center.

Prosecutors earlier this month filed a residential burglary charge against Sergey Chmukh, 18, for an incident in May. That charge was filed three days after the teen was arrested again for allegedly trying to get into the girl’s house. Chmukh is facing a felony charge for that incident, too.

Court documents track allegations of multiple violations of judges’ orders with seemingly few consequences.

In the spring, Chmukh was released without having to post bail after pleading not guilty to the vehicular homicide charge in juvenile court. Police say Chmukh was speeding when he crashed into Roy Bennett Oct. 16 on 112th Street SE in south Everett. Bennett, 89, died two days later. Chmukh, who was 17 at the time, had a learner’s permit. He denied speeding and blamed the crash on Bennett.

During an April 17 arraignment hearing in juvenile court, a judge ordered Chmukh not to drive or to commit any new crimes. He was released without bail while awaiting his trial, then scheduled for June 6.

Chmukh was arrested less than two weeks later after his ex-girlfriend reported that he forced her inside the men’s locker room at Lynnwood Recreation Center and refused to let her go. Police were told that Chmukh, now 18, was angry that the girl didn’t want to get back together with him.

Prosecutors quickly charged him in district court with multiple crimes but didn’t refile the case into superior court. The victim provided contradictory statements to prosecutors, Snohomish County chief criminal deputy prosecutor Craig Matheson said.

Prosecutors in juvenile court in early May, however, requested that the court impose $25,000 bail in the vehicular homicide case based on the arrest, a violation of the terms of his release pending trial. Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Marybeth Dingledy set bail at $10,000. Chmukh posted bail two days later through Aladdin Bail Bonds in Everett.

Two weeks later, Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies were advised that a neighbor had seen someone skulking around Chmukh’s ex-girlfriend’s house. A home security camera reportedly captured Chmukh breaking into the house. He allegedly stayed in the house about 30 minutes, according to court papers.

Chmukh was not arrested. The case was forwarded to prosecutors in early June but not charged until Aug. 9. Prosecutors didn’t seek additional bail on the vehicular homicide charge after the alleged burglary.

It also doesn’t appear that higher bail was requested after an incident on June 26 involving the same victim. Prosecutors say a residential burglary charge is pending in connection with that incident. They also reported that Chmukh was cited on June 13 for operating a vehicle without insurance, a violation of his bail order not to drive.

The presumption is for release pending trial absent some flight risk or danger to the community, Matheson said.

“Once the motion to revoke is argued and the judge makes his or her decision, we’re generally done unless something else comes up,” he said.

Chmukh was arrested Aug. 3 for allegedly violating the no-contact order again. He reportedly was spotted in his ex-girlfriend’s back yard. A surveillance camera reportedly showed Chmukh trying to open a screen door.

“Sergey has shown a pattern of stalking/harassment against the victim. Sergey does not care that there is a no contact order. Sergey lied to deputies multiple times and has no remorse in committing crimes against the victim. I am concerned for the victim’s safety,” Snohomish County sheriff’s deputy David Rogers wrote in his arrest report.

A judge set bail at $7,500. Prosecutors on Aug. 8 charged Chmukh in district court with attempted residential burglary in connection with the recent incident. The next day he was charged with residential burglary in superior court for the May break-in. A judge ordered him held on $25,000 bail and the teen remained in jail.

Meanwhile his probation counselor in juvenile court has requested a judge review Chmukh’s bail order in the vehicular homicide case, citing the additional charges and arrests since May.

That hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

Prosecutors have indicated that if Chmukh is convicted of vehicular homicide, they will ask that he be locked up until his 21st birthday. His trial is scheduled for October.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; hefley@heraldnet.com.

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