Well, if I was not there on Monday in the courtroom of Judge Karen J. Nudell, Van Nuys Superior court, I would not have believed my eyes. Khatun Vardanian was not held for murder the murder of Mike Yepremyan, the charge went back to “conspiracy to commit assault,” and her bail was once again set at $30,000. I am going to predict that when she goes back to court in a month, her sentence will be either credit for time served or picking up litter for Cal Trans.
How, you ask, is this possible? For one thing it is not the fault of the Deputy D.A. Andrew Bassas or the two police detectives. The Deputy D.A. did what could only be described as an incredible job presenting the facts. And when I tell you he pounded the facts home and pounded and pounded, he did that and all he could to try and make it clear. And sitting in that courtroom it also became evident that the two detectives have a great deal of information on the people who killed Mike Yepremyan. It is going to take more time to eventually put the killers in jail. A kind of funny/sad moment was when the getaway driver’s father, Abraham Jurian, was called to the stand, and when asked by the deputy district attorney where his son, Vahagn Jurian was, replied, “I don’t know.“ When asked if he recalled his son calling and crying and being told by him that “a terrible thing had happened and someone was killed,” he said “No.” When the deputy d.a. asked about his memory, Abraham went on to say that his memory was getting real bad. This too is a very sad moment for several reasons, parents trying to fix and make better what cannot be fixed or made better, at the same time it was an attempt of another father trying to save his son. Vahagn Jurian fled the United States several days after the murder, buying a ticket with cash and heading for France.
Khatun Vardanian was dressed in a two-piece blue jail issued uniform and was visibly shaken. She had spent two weeks in the gray bar hotel and was now looking at her future. Her attorney Anthony Brooklier also was on top of his game, and he did as great a job as did the D.A. in fighting for his client. He was in complete control, and it would appear while he was here fighting for this client he was at the same time doing it on a couple of other courtrooms too….the guy is incredible. Looking at the guy he is very sly, almost fox-like in a very nice suit.
The three witnesses who testified today did more harm than they did good in testifying against Khatun. Did they do it on purpose? I do not believe so, the primary witness sounded unsure and “minimized” Ms. Vardanian’s participation by not being clear on several issues. The other two, it was so bad that if they had told me that the Titanic had hit an iceberg I am not sure I would have believed them. This Deputy D.A. fought all the way up a slippery slope in trying to make his case and in my opinion the three witnesses did more damage than help in this case.
Well, tonight it will be celebratory for the Vardanians and the Jurians, their daughter and niece will be home. For the Yepremyans, the body of their son Gombert “Mike” Yepremyan is still in a lonely grave and will never be coming home.
This story is being watched by a few major news agencies and will a national story real soon, I promise.