Former WHL player Ladislav Scurko, a Slovakian, is back in the news. Using stories from more than three years ago and running some Monday stories I found on the Internet through Google translator, I have tried to piece it together.
Here’s what I have come up with . . .
Scurko, 26, was convicted of murder in Kosice court on Monday and sentenced to eight years in a medium surveillance facility.
Immediately after sentencing, Scurko said he will appeal.
Originally, he was convicted of murdering referee Marek Liptaj, 28, in January 2008 on a highway between Kosice and Presov. Liptaj was stabbed 19 times and his body was then buried.
Scurko, who played two seasons (2004-06) with the Seattle Thunderbirds and 12 games with the Tri-City Americans in 2006-07, was a sixth-round pick by the Philadelphia Flyers in the NHL’s 2004 draft. He never played in the NHL. He spent 2008-09 with Kosice in the Slovakian Extraliga, picking up 12 points in 52 games. He also had 19 points in 11 games with Treviso (Slovakia, 2.Liga).
Scurko pleaded guilty to murdering Liptaj but later changed his story. He was released from jail in November 2011 after serving 2½ years in prison. He then signed with his hometown team, Slovan Gelnica (Slovakia, 3.Liga). He had 20 points, including 14 goals, in only eight games there, then added 24 points, 15 of them goals, in 10 games with HK Trebisov (Slovakia, 2.Liga). It would seem that Scurko still has some game.
Topky.sk reported Monday that Scurko originally admitted to the murder but "his story changed only after the lawyer has changed."
According to Scurko’s new story, he didn’t murder Liptaj but took the blame because he was threatened by Mafia members who control betting.
Hnonline.sk reported that Judge John Poprock didn’t believe the hockey player who claimed that "the act (was) committed by two unidentified men from the so-called betting mafia."
Topky.sk also reported that Scurko, according to the judge, admitted to being in a normal state "and not under the influence of drugs and alcohol, as the defense."
"The amount of the sentence took into account the fact that according to experts," topky.sk continued, "Scurko committed (the act) in anger, was unmanageable and therefore his court imposed an annual psychiatric outpatient treatment."
In sentencing Scurko, the judge said the accusesd three times had admitted to the murder "and accurately described the commission of an act." The judge added that it was "unrealistic" that someone should admit an "act of penitence" three times and then recant it all.
Scurko apparently listened to the sentence without emotion, but told reporters later that he was disappointed and that he will appeal.
Alexander Farkasovsky, Scurko’s lawyer, also expressed disappointment, telling topky.sk that he is "convinced" of his client’s innocence and that he "defended him as his own son."
According to topky.sk, Scurko changed his story in July 2010, bringing two other men into it and claiming they killed Liptaj and put the body in the trunk of Scurko’s car.
"One of them sat down to him and commanded him to go towards Kežmarok," topky.sk reported. "The second of the men followed in their off-road car. . . ."
Scurko later said he changed his story because after fearing for his life he now had "found the courage to resist," topky.sk reported. "Plus he was in his own words in interviews stressed out because investigators had to convince him that all the evidence to go against him."
If I have read all of this correctly, Scurko returned home after saying he will appeal, although the court imposed psychiatric outpatient treatment.
Also, should the appeal fail, Scurko, because of time served, would be eligible to apply for parole in less than three years.
For half-a-dozen photos, some of Scurko taken Monday, visit this site right here.
Right here is what appeared on this blog on April 25, 2009, after Scurko first was arrested.
Zoran Rajcic, the Everett Silvertips’ assistant GM, has been promoted. He now is executive vice-president of the Silvertips and their parent company, CSH International, Inc. Rajcic, who has been with the Silvertips since their inception in 2002, had been assistant GM since October. According to a news release, he will continue to oversee business operations for the Silvertips while expanding his role with other CSH properties. CSH owns four Americans junior teams – the Silvertips, Amarillo Bulls (NAHL), Texas Tornado (NAHL) and North Iowa Bulls (NA3HL). CSH also owns the Peoria Pines Golf Course in Peoria, Ariz., and has acquired a West Coast League summer collegiate baseball franchise in Medford, Ore.
Mike MacCulloch, Everett’s director marketing/corporate sales, now will handle all corporate sales efforts after sharing those responsibilities with Rajcic. MacCulloch is another original staff member. . . . Kevin Danford, the ticket sales manager, now is the director of ticket sales as he prepares for his sixth season with the Silvertips.
THE COACHING GAME:
Matt MacDonald, 29, is the new assistant coach with the Cincinnati Cyclones, the ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Florida Panthers and Nashville Predators. . . . MacDonald, who retired as an active player after last season, played three seasons with the Cyclones. . . . With the Cyclones, he replaces former NHLer Andrew Cassels on the coaching staff. MacDonald will work alongside head coach Jarrod Skalde.
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