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September 21, 2011

Four Indicted in 2009 North Hollywood Murder

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 9:21 am

Four Indicted in 2009 North Hollywood Murder

VAN NUYS – Four Van Nuys residents were arraigned today on a superceding indictment charging them with conspiracy and murder in the 2009 shooting death of a 19-year-old Granada Hills man after he sent a text message, the District Attorney’s Office announced.

Zareh Manjikian, 24, who surrendered to police in July following an international manhunt, and Vahagn Jurian, 24, pleaded not guilty to one count each of conspiracy to commit a crime and murder in the Nov. 18, 2009, fatal shooting of Gombert “Mike” Yepremyan.

The indictment also charges Hovik Dzhuryan, 19, and his sister, Khatun Vardanian, 22, with one count each of conspiracy. Dzhuryan and Vardanian each pleaded not guilty. Bail was set at $30,000 for Vardanian and $45,000 for Dzhuryan.

All four were arraigned on a two-count Grand Jury indictment returned Thursday and unsealed today by Superior Court Judge Patricia Schnegg. Deputy District Attorney Ed Nison is prosecuting the case.

The indictment alleges the four conspired to kill Yepremyan after he sent a text message to his girlfriend in which he insulted Vardanian. Vardanian allegedly saw the message, called her brother Dzhuryan and told him to beat up Yepremyan.

The indictment alleges Yepremyan began receiving phone calls from Dzhuryan, Jurian and others who told him to meet them at a Sears parking lot in North Hollywood at Victory and Laurel Canyon boulevards. At the parking lot during a confrontation, the indictment alleges Jurian struck Yepremyan in the face with his fist and Manjikian shot him in the back of the head with a 9 mm handgun.

Manjikian had been a fugitive until July when he turned himself in following his arrest then release in Puerto Rico. He remains in custody on $8 million bail. Jurian, who also had been a fugitive until his arrest earlier this year, remains in custody on $4 million bail.

All four return to court Monday in Van Nuys, Department G, for pretrial. Prosecutors are expected to dismiss two separate cases filed earlier against the defendants.

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