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Teen charged with fatal stabbing may claim self-defense

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The defense attorney for 17-year-old Dmitriy Popov, who stabbed and killed O’Shae Sibley last month, plead not guilty in Brooklyn state supreme court Friday and said he is considering pursuing a self defense claim.

“With self-defense cases, a lot has to do with is, what’s in the mind of the person that committed the act, what’s in the mind, what were they thinking and were their actions reasonable or not reasonable,” Defense Attorney Mark Pollard said. “Certainly we’ll be considering that, but right now it’s way too early to know which direction we’re going to go.”

Popov’s mother and grandmother sat in the courtroom, along with a family friend.

What You Need To Know

  • Dmitriy Popov, 17, is facing charges of second degree murder as a hate crime in the stabbing death of O’Shae Sibley
  • Popov’s defense attorney said he may claim self-defense
  • Popov is due back in court Oct. 10

Sibley, 28, was laid to rest Tuesday in Philadelphia where he grew up.

His death led to an outpouring of grief and anger, particularly from the gay community.

“His dream was to perform, to basically do things that other people wished they could do,” Kristian Miranda, a friend of Sibley, said at a vigil outside of the Stonewall Inn. “He was always a beacon of light, he was always hopeful, kind.”

Authorities say Sibley and his friends were dancing to a Beyonce song, in a style known as voguing, at a Midwood gas station when Popov and his friends made what police called anti-black and homophobic remarks.

Investigators say Popov fatally stabbed Sibley in the confrontation.

Popov is being charged as an adult, facing murder in the second degree as a hate crime.

Pollard, Popov’s defense attorney, said his client did not use any hate speech.

“It’s my understanding that he did not and I suspect that other people did that were not arrested. I dont know why, but he did not,” he said.

Pollard called Popov a Christian boy, who attends church and worked two jobs. Pollard said that he regrets Sibley’s death.

Still, Pollard said he plans to bring the case to trial and get a not guilty verdict for Popov.

Popov was remanded back to a juvenile detention facility in Brooklyn. As he was led out of the courtroom, he looked back to his family, and with his hands in cuffs, flashed a thumbs up sign.

Popov is due back in court on Oct. 10.

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