NATIONAL NEWS

Charges dropped against Florida family accused of attacking gay man in relationship with adult son

Feb 20, 2024, 4:08 PM

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — South Florida prosecutors dropped criminal charges on Tuesday against a couple and their adult son who had been accused of severely beating a man who had been in a relationship with the son.

Yevhen Makarenko, his wife, Inna, and their son Oleh had each been charged with attempted murder, burglary and kidnapping in the August 2021 beating, the hate crime charges against them in April 2022.

Broward County Assistant State Attorney Veronica Walker wrote in a memorandum outlining the decision not to prosecute that a crime appears to have been committed, but there is no likelihood of conviction.

Defense attorney George Palaidis said the Makarenkos were at home when the attack occurred, as prosecutors acknowledged that cellphone records failed to place the family at the crime scene.

Deputies found the victim at his Pompano Beach home in August 2021, officials said. He initially told detectives that he fell down while drinking alcohol but later said that he had been beaten by Oleh Makarenko and his family.

Investigators learned that the victim and Oleh Makarenko had been dating for several months when his parents found out about the relationship and disapproved. But prosecutors said they were unable to corroborate significant portions of the victim’s account.

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