Former BU Student Released Early From Serbia Prison

By Michelle Costanza

Former BU Student Released Early From Serbia Prison

November 26, 2012 Updated Nov 26, 2012 at 10:43 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Miladin Kovacevic is being released early from a Serb prison due to a government amnesty.

The former Binghamton University basketball player brutally beat Brian Steinhauer at the Rathskeller bar in 2008.

After the attack, Steinhauer was left in a coma with a fractured skull and serious brain injuries. Kovacevic posted bail and fled to his native country aided by fake documents from the Serbian Consulate.

The District Attorney's Office in Broome County worked with Serbian prosecutors, who refused to extradite him, but paid $900,000 to Steinhauer's family and assured that Kovacevic would receive punishment to the fullest extent of Serbian law.

When convicted in Serbia, he was only given 27 months in prison- a sentence that Steinhauer's family and the State Department believe was too lenient.

A general amnesty by the Serbian government has now granted Kovacevic's release nearly two months early.

When given notice of Kovacevic's early release, Broome District Attorney Gerald Mollen was disappointed.

"Our feeling was that Kovacevic was a lot different because there was a specific negotiation. I take it as a violation of the agreement because although we could not control the Serbian government in their treatment of the case, or the Serbian courts, still there was a good faith assurance given to both the Steinhauers, to our office, and to the state department," he said.

If Kovacevic had been tried and found guilty in the U.S. court system, he would have likely been sentenced to ten years in prison. Broome County arrest warrants are still outstanding should he attempt to re-enter New York.

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