Siberian court allows more serious charges in case of domestic violence victim’s brutal murder
On Wednesday, March 17, a district court in the Siberian city of Kemerovo remanded the case against Vladislav Kanyus, who stands accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend Vera Pechteleva, back to the prosecutor’s office.
In doing so, the judge presiding over the case granted a petition from state prosecutors seeking to requalify the charges against Kanyus as a more serious felony: murder committed with particular cruelty. Vladislav Kanyus now faces up to 20 years in prison. (The original charges against him carried a maximum sentence of up to 15 years imprisonment).
“The court concluded that in the process of the murder Pekteleva was subjected to prolonged torture, exceptional pain and suffering was inflicted upon her, as evidenced by the number of injuries inflicted while she was still alive […] The court ruled to return Kanyus’s criminal case to the prosecutor to remove obstacles to its consideration by the court,” said the judge’s ruling, as quoted by the state news agency TASS.
According to the presiding judge, Vera Pechteleva suffered at least 111 traumas and bodily injuries.
Also during the hearing on Wednesday, the testimony Kanyus gave during the investigation was read out in court. In his testimony, Kanyus showed remorse for his crimes and claimed that he intended to scare Pekhteleva, not kill her.
Vera Pekhteleva was killed in January 2020; she was 23-years-old. Her death provoked shock and outrage because neighbors phoned the police seven times while listening to Pekhteleva scream in agony as her ex-boyfriend severely beat her over the course of several hours. Law enforcement never responded to the repeated calls. By the time the neighbors finally kicked in the apartment door, Pekhteleva was dead.
In addition to the murder charges against Kanyus, two law enforcement officers stand accused of criminal negligence in connection with the case. Officers Dmitry Taritsyn and Mikhail Balashov received the reports about the domestic dispute, but failed to send a team to investigate. In late February, their criminal case was also remanded to prosecutors, in order to requalify it under more serious charges.