Mikhail Chernyaev, 49, who was convicted in September in the killing his ex-lovers boyfriend was sentenced today to 25 years to life in prison, according to acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez.
Chernyaev stabbed, suffocated, and strangled Charles Butler, and then went to great lengths to cover his tracks, according to the DA. Chernyaev used Butler’s cell phone’s memory card to text his ex, Anna Lioznov, pretending to be Butler, according to Lioznoz’s testimony.
“I have to leave for 3 days, right now,” read one of the texts. “Just forget about me.”
Chernyaev then took Butler’s body on a trip to his Upper East Side residence before taking him upstate to dump the body over a cliff near Port Jervis. Butler’s body, partially decayed and eaten by animals, was found in a ditch a month after the murder.
The body was identified as Butler using a sketch constructed from the skeleton, a single fingerprint, and DNA analysis, according to the DA.
“This calculated killer relinquished his right to be part of our society when he senselessly killed a man, dumped his body and tried to deceive his worried loved ones,” said acting DA Gonzalez. “He thought he could get away with this crime, but has now been sentenced to many years in prison.”
Chernyaev confessed to the murder to NYPD detective Constantine Papadopoulos. He told Papadopoulos, and wrote in a statement, that there was a demon inside of him.
Chernyaev turned down a plea deal in May 2015, and demanded the case be retried in English, sending Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Neil Firetog into a fury in which he pounded his desk and yelled at Chernyaev to “shut up.”
So this marks the end of an interesting story, and justice was certainly served.