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Leading Russian actor Mikhail Efremov given 8-year prison sentence for causing fatal drunken Moscow car crash

Leading Russian actor Mikhail Efremov given 8-year prison sentence for causing fatal drunken Moscow car crash
Famous Russian actor Mikhail Efremov has been found guilty of causing death by driving while intoxicated, after killing a man in a June traffic accident. Efremov had initially pleaded not guilty, but later changed his testimony.

Despite the prosector requesting that the actor, a household name in Russia, be given 11 years behind bars, presiding Judge Elena Abramova opted to hand Efremov an eight-year stretch. His defense team had asked for “any" sentence which wouldn't send the actor to prison.

"Efremov, in a state of alcoholic intoxication, caused an accident, resulting in a person's death," Judge Elena Abramova said.

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On June 8, Efremov was arrested after his car crossed into oncoming traffic on Moscow's Garden Ring, a central orbital highway. His Jeep Cherokee collided with a Lada delivery van, fatally injuring 58-year-old driver Sergei Zakharov, who died later in hospital. Following the crash, Efremov was filmed admitting that he was intoxicated.

Despite video evidence, Efremov initially entered a 'not guilty' plea and changed his testimony three times, according to the judge. His defense had previously included claims that he did not remember the accident and brought an eyewitness to say that he was in the passenger seat.

In Russia, Efremov is a major star and has won many awards in decades of acting. The son of legendary Soviet actors Oleg Efremov and Alla Pokrovskaya, in 1995, he was honored by Boris Yeltsin's Russian government as a 'Merited Artist.'

In recent years, he branched off from the entertainment industry and has become known for his criticism of Russian authorities and his scandalous personal life.

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