of Avetis "Avo" Demirchyan near the Hoover campus.
L.A. Superior Court Judge Victor Person ordered Badalyan to use his
community service hours to talk to students about the perils of using
weapons and the negative experiences he has lived through -- including
471 days behind bars -- since the shooting.
Prosecutor Trish Wilkinson, who had recommended a six-year prison
term, told Person there was no evidence to support Badalyan's claim he
was acting as a peacemaker during the after-school fight authorities said
resulted from a lunchtime dispute at Hoover. She said he brought the gun
to the fight.
"I don't think this defendant takes full responsibility for his
conduct," she said. "It sends a bad message to the public that we
demonstrate any tolerance for that behavior."
In considering the matter, the judge, a Hoover graduate, said he was
troubled by recent incidents in Glendale, as well as conflicting
information in the case and the fact that the victim's mother, Sona
Demirchyan, had pledged support for Badalyan. Person was referring to the
May 5 beating and stabbing death of Hoover student Raul Aguirre in front
of Toll Middle School.
Person said, were he to go on his emotions, he would probably have
sentenced Badalyan to state prison to send a message to Glendale's young
people that it's wrong to settle disputes with guns.
Person said he was disturbed by Badalyan's past actions but hopeful
about his future.
"I expect good things from you, Mr. Badalyan," Person said.
Badalyan's lawyer, Mark Geragos, has denied the claim his client
brought the gun to the fight, but instead was trying to wrest the weapon
away from Demirchyan. He argued Thursday that despite "wildly conflicting
statements" from witnesses, there was evidence showing there had been a
struggle over the weapon.
Geragos said sending Badalyan to prison would have accomplished
nothing. However, placing Badalyan on probationwith the specter of a
seven-year incarceration hanging over his head and making him serve the
community could make a difference, he said.