Bogdan Rudenko murder dropped Yuriy Kharutokov - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Ex-girlfriend's credibility leads to murder charge dismissal against hockey player

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Yuriy Kharutokov Yuriy Kharutokov

STALLINGS, NC (WBTV) - A former Charlotte hockey player had murder charges dropped against him this week related to a killing in Union County in late 2009, the District Attorney said.

The charges – dismissed this week -- against Bogdan Rudenko in the killing of Yuriy Kharutokov were originally based on a supposed confession that Rudenko's ex-girlfriend told police that she claimed Rudenko made to her, Union County DA Trey Robison said in a press release.

 Since Rudenko, who played for the Checkers in 2004-2005, was charged, Stallings Police and the SBI have searched for any physical evidence to corroborate the information given by Rudenko's former girlfriend.

 But, none of the physical evidence tested linked Rudenko to the crime, Robison said.  Law enforcement continued to interview witnesses see if there was anyone who could corroborate the information provided by Rudenko's former girlfriend. 

 "It became increasingly clear that the entire case rested on the credibility of Rudenko's former girlfriend," said Robison.  "Further investigation also revealed that although she is the mother of Rudenko's child, Rudenko had married someone else; a fact which reportedly caused her much bitterness toward Rudenko."

Later, the ex-girlfriend said through lawyers that she would invoke her 5th amendment right and not testify at a trial. When offered immunity, she told the DA "she would testify under oath that the defendant had not, in fact, confessed to her," Robison said.

Robison added that there now seems to be no evidence tying Rudenko to the murder.

"Because the State's key witness has now recanted … that Rudenko had confessed to her, and because there is no forensic evidence linking Rudenko to Mr. Kharutokov's murder, the DA's Office is ethically and legally compelled to dismiss the pending murder charge against Rudenko," Robison said.

"At this point there are no witnesses to the crime, no murder weapon, no physical evidence to link Rudenko to the crime scene, no known motive for Rudenko to have killed Mr. Kharutokov and, most significantly, no alleged confession."

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