an offer of 23 years and eight months in prison, officials said.
Rafael Gevorgyan, who was offered 16 years in prison through the
plea bargain, said no to the deal. If convicted of murder, both men
could face sentences of 25 years to life in prison.
"My client said no, and that's fine with me," said Andrew Flier,
Gevorgyan's attorney. "I plan to try this case the same exact way I
did the first time. I don't think they can prove my client had
knowledge or intent to kill anyone. I've been on this case four years
and I've never changed my opinion on this case for one minute,
Raul Aguirre was 17 on May 5, 2000, when he tried to intervene in
what police say was a gang fight between Terteryan and Gevorgyan and
a former co-worker of Raul's. Investigators have said Raul was not a
gang member. Terteryan is accused of stabbing Raul in the heart, and
Gevorgyan is accused of hitting him on the head with a crowbar.
In the men's first trial, the jury was split between manslaughter
and second-degree murder charges, and a mistrial was declared.
For the second trial, Deputy Dist. Atty. Darrell Mavis plans to
use a taped conversation between the defendants as they sat in the
back of a police car. The first jury did not hear the tape because
questions arose about its translation from Armenian.
He also plans to introduce new DNA tests that allegedly show
Aguirre's blood on the crowbar that Gevorgyan is accused of wielding.
Gevorgyan testified during the first trial that he did not swing the
crowbar or hit Aguirre with it.
"We expect the case to be stronger this time because of the DNA
evidence and the taped conversation," Mavis said. "They will both add
to a case that already supports a conviction of murder. We had a
compelling case last time, and we think it's just as strong if not
The second trial begins Tuesday with jury selection.
Flier said his client will testify again, and he will ask a gang
expert to speak, as well as a forensics expert and a fourth witness
he declined to name.
"The taped evidence from the police car, I'm not worried about
that," Flier said. "They presented the tape in the first trial and it
turned out it wasn't useful and was withdrawn as an exhibit."
Shepard Kopp, who took over for Mark Geragos as Terteryan's
attorney in the retrial, declined to comment on his client's decision
to accept the plea bargain.
"I don't anticipate a jury selection right away," Kopp said. "It
takes some time to find 12 jurors that both sides will consider fair
and impartial. I intend to show that Terteryan was not the
instigator, and I doubt that my client's testimony or the evidence
will differ significantly. I believe they will attempt to use new
evidence, but we will see what actually happens."