A Brooklyn teenager charged with the fatal stabbing of dancer O’Shae Sibley could file a self-defense lawsuit after a grand jury indicted him on murder and hate crime charges, his attorney said Friday.
Defense attorney Mark Pollard said he “strongly believes” 17-year-old Dmitriy Popov had reasons to allegedly stab Sibley to death while the professional dancer was singing a Beyoncé song outside a convenience store in Coney Island.
“Once I have all the evidence, I have a strong belief that we will go into self-defense and that he had reasonable grounds to reasonably believe he needed to defend himself in that situation,” Pollard said in the Brooklyn Supreme Court.
Popov, wearing a blue hoodie, black pants and a new updo, pleaded not guilty to his second-degree murder hate crime charge before Judge Craig Walker.
According to prosecutors, Popov, who will turn 18 later this year, will be charged as an adult.
Pollard said he is awaiting additional evidence — such as more video of the deadly altercation — that could show Popov defending himself.
Video obtained by The Post shows two groups of people getting into a heated discussion in the parking lot of a mobile station on Coney Island Avenue, where 28-year-old Sibley was fatally stabbed on July 29.
According to prosecutors, Popov and two others – after some back-and-forth – allegedly threw homophonic and racial slurs at Sibley and his four friends and demanded, “Get that gay shit out of here.”
Sibley tried to defuse the situation while Popov allegedly continued to harass the group, eventually pointing a knife at one of Sibley’s friends and stabbing Sibley in the side of his chest, piercing his heart, prosecutors say.
Pollard defended Popov – whose mother, Lana and grandmother, who did not give her name, were in court on Friday – by denying the teenager had made any anti-gay or anti-black remarks during the altercation.
“To my understanding, he didn’t do it [used hate speech]’ Pollard said. “I suspect other people who weren’t arrested did it. I don’t know why, but he didn’t know.”
He also claimed Popov was an average teenager living in Brooklyn with his Russian mother and about to start his senior year at The Professional Pathways Sheepshead High School.
He also clarified that Popov was a Christian, not a Muslim, and attended church frequently, which his mother confirmed in her only comment to the press after the indictment.
“There is nothing about his background or history that suggests he is the type of person to commit this crime,” Pollard said.
If convicted, Popov faces 20 years in prison for stabbing Sibley.
Popov remains in custody at the Crossroads Juvenile Detention Center. His next court date is October 10.