Karen Terteryan, 17, Rafael Gevorgyan, 15, and Anait Ano Msryan, 14,
were each charged with one count of murder, one count of attempted murder
and one count of street terrorism.
"We amended the complaint to include special circumstances of murder
by a street gang," said Sandi Gibbons, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles
County District Attorney's Office.
The special circumstance allows the three to be held without bail. If
convicted, Gibbons said, the three could receive life in prison without
the possibility of parole.
Raul Aguirre, who was not a gang member, was killed Friday when he
tried to stop a fight between a Latino and two Armenian gang members,
Aguirre was hit in the head with a crowbar and stabbed several times,
Terteryan, Gevorgyan and Msryan did not enter a plea during the
hearing Tuesday afternoon. Attorneys for the three individuals requested
the arraignment be postponed to May 23.
Andrew Flier, attorney for Gevorgyan, voiced several concerns during
the court hearing.
One was that Aguirre's body be held at the Los Angeles County
Coroner's office until a forensics expert could examine it and provide an
exact cause of death.
"I'm very sympathetic to the family of the victim, however, my client
has rights too," Flier said.
Gevorgyan's attorney said the prosecution alleges Terteryan was the
one who stabbed Aguirre. Flier said he thought it was important to
separate who did what in the case, as well as the cause of death.
Judge Steven Lubell granted a motion for a hearing on the matter,
scheduled for Monday. Aguirre's body would be held by the coroner until
then, putting the funeral, set for Friday, on hold.
Flier and Ronald Levine, defense attorney for Msryan, both expressed
objections that the teens were being tried as adults.
Flier said Gevorgyan is a 15-year-old who has no criminal record and
stressed the youth was not a gang member.
Levine said he had questions about the constitutionality of
Proposition 21, which was approved by voters March 7 and allows juveniles
as young as 14 to be tried as adults.
Dep. Dist. Atty. Steven Lopez defended the decision.