Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced Popov was charged with second-degree murder as a hate crime, second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter as a hate crime, first-degree manslaughter, fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and related counts.
He was ordered held without bail and to return to court on October 10, 2023. If convicted of the top count he faces a minimum of 20 years to life and a maximum of 25 years to life.
Indicted for murder as a hate crime and related charges for allegedly stabbing and killing dancer and choreographer O’Shae Sibley at a Midwood gas station after hurling homophobic and anti-Black slurs.
Surveillance video taken on July 29th around 11 p.m. at the Mobile gas station on Coney Island Avenue, shows the confrontation between Sibley's group of friends and Popov's.
The DA says the teen took issue with Sibley, a professional dancer who was shirtless and unarmed, dancing to Beyoncé music near their car.
The DA says Popov allegedly started yelling out anti-black and homophobic slurs, before pulling out a knife and stabbing Sibley in the chest.
"I strongly suspect we're going to proceed to a trial," said Popov’s defense attorney Mark Pollard. "I've heard a lot of reports in the media, and I'm hearing things that don't actually jive with what happened in this particular case."
"Other people, bigger stronger, taller than him, older than him, a number of other people are approaching him, and he's moving back," Pollard said.
Popov's defense attorney is claiming the teen, who will be tried as an adult, may have been acting in self-defense. He also says Popov is a Christian, not a Muslim as Mayor Eric Adams implied at a news conference. And with black family and friends, he does not believe Popov was acting out of bigotry.