Second trial date set for Popov case
A verdict involving the most high-profile Syracuse University murder in a decade has been delayed. Again.
After the initial summer trial ended with a hung jury, Dominic Dennard Jr. will not face charges for the murder of Simeon Popov until 2004. The tentative date for another trial has been set for Jan. 5, said James Makoweic, Onondaga County’s deputy chief clerk of courts.
Judge Joseph Fahey is set to hear a motion Tuesday to determine how much testimony will be admissible when the new trial begins. Lead defense attorney Scott Porter, who filed the motion, said that he hopes to put limits of what can be said under oath.
‘Basically what the parameters of the testimony can be,’ Porter said.
He added the motion might be rendered meaningless, depending on what comes up during the trail, although he declined to go into further specifics.
‘It would be worthless for me to try and explain it,’ Porter said.
Assistant District Attorney Nick DeMartino could not be reached for comment.
Popov, a Bulgarian music graduate student, died from a gunshot wound to the head Jan. 20, 2002, after he walked in on a drug-related robbery at an apartment on Ostrom Avenue. He was delivering food for Dorian’s Gourmet Pizza and Deli.
The driver of the assailant, former SU student Robert Adams, told authorities that Dennard confessed to him that he murdered Popov. Dennard was eventually arrested in a Brooklyn apartment building nearly four months after both the Syracuse and New York City police began looking for him.
In September 2002, DeMartino decided not to seek the death penalty against Dennard, although it was an option since he is accused of intentionally murdering Popov while committing a felony.
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