Man Off to Jail for 1 Year for Carjacking – It Could Have Been Much Worse

By Kalani E. Gaines

SACRAMENTO – Viktor Perepelitsyn violated his probation again, a Sacramento County Superior Court was told Friday, and he’ll be going to jail for a year. The alternative was six years in prison.

Perepelitsyn violated his probation by being an accomplice in a carjacking where the victim was held at gunpoint.

The victim of the carjacking did not wish to be present at the hearing nor to seek restitution of property. However, Perepelitsyn still had to face the consequence of going to prison for his crime, said Judge Ernest W. Sawtelle, who said, “The probation report is recommending that the court impose a prison sentence.”

Deputy District Attorney Jonathon Ma indicated that the original offer was a six-year prison sentence. noting “that he has three prior felonies and he’s been to state prison before.”

Ma recognized that Perepelitsyn was not the primary actor in the theft and did not commit any violent act, but he participated in scouting out the victim, stating that “he transported the defendant to the actual scene where it occurred and also helped the defendant tow the car with his pickup truck.” He added there were also discussions on how to unlock the car.

Judge Sawtelle referred to the probation report again, noting that Perepekutsyn’s role was primarily as a driver throughout the crime, driving the co-defendant to the scene and leaving at the same time after the robbery took place.

Assistant Public Defender Carmen Butler reminded the judge that “he did not directly follow [the codefendant], he dropped [the codefendant] off and then [the codefendant] did the actions that he is accused of”.

Butler brought Perepekutsyn’s cooperation to light as well, stating that “he admitted his involvement, he told the officers where the vehicle was located, which I believe was a garage or storage facility that he owned, and he was unaware that [the codefendant] had planned to use a firearm until after the incident occurred.”

According to Butler, Perepekutsyn’s last time in prison was nine years ago which was for another case of theft alongside someone else where they were breaking into parked cars to steal purses.

“He has no violence in his history whatsoever,” Butler said, “and while this is not an excuse, in the criminal cases he’s had in the past, he had a severe and serious drug problem, but the last five years he has been clean.”

Judge Sawtelle found Perepelitsyn’s actions to be confusing after seeing how long it has been since his last prison sentence, and asked what the motivation was for this re-offense.

“He was interested in purchasing the vehicle, but the vehicle was more than what he could afford at that time,” Butler explained. “The codefendant came up with the plan that they would take the vehicle,” said Perepelitsyn, who was expecting a nonviolent theft charge, not carjacking.

As he decided to follow through with the six-year suspended prison sentence, Judge Sawtelle informed Perepelitsyn that this was his last chance and reminded him of the additional consequences in lieu of his crime.

“I don’t know what it is that causes you to keep going back and stealing things or keep taking drugs but whatever it is, this is kind of the last chance you get,” Judge Sawtelle said, adding, “Your actions have a lot of consequences and they’re not just to yourself. There’s a victim involved. There’s your family involved.”

Butler asked Judge Sawtelle to take note that Perepelitsyn is now stable, married, employed, and a homeowner.

“He has all the things that give him that stability that will prevent him from coming back into the system,” she said, asking the judge to allow the defendant to serve his time on an ankle monitor.

However, Judge Sawtelle refused, adding, “I’m stretching it a little bit…I think it’s time that he receives some significant responsibility for this,” referring to the defendant’s record.

Perepelitsyn asked for a later report to jail date, explaining to Judge Sawtelle that he had a current fencing project for his parents. That was denied—Judge Sawtelle said it was poor planning on the defendant’s part and that he already reminded him to be prepared to go into custody that day.

Perepelitsyn was handcuffed and taken into custody as soon as the hearing was over, to serve one out the six years of his prison sentence, with the rest suspended. Upon release, Perepelitsyn is subject to automatic arrest if any violation of his five-year probation is committed.

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About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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