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FATHER AWAITS JUSTICE; TRIAL TO BEGIN IN 1997 STABBING DEATH OF GLENDALE MAN'S SON.

Byline: Donna Huffaker Daily News Staff Writer

Eighteen months after Glendale resident Souren Mekhrabian's 22-year-old son died in his arms, the man accused of stabbing him over 25 cents will go to trial.

Edward Dixon, 42, who is representing himself, has won a series of delays that prosecutors have labeled stalling strategies, but Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Gregory Alarcon on Wednesday denied Dixon another extension and jury selection is expected to begin today, officials said.

For Mekhrabian, the wait for the trial to begin might soon be over, but another ordeal could lie ahead.

Mekhrabian is one of the eight to 12 witnesses the prosecutor plans to call, and that means the man charged with killing his son will be allowed to cross-examine him.

``I just want justice. I want very much for this trial to start. I've been waiting almost two years,'' Mekhrabian said through a translator Wednesday from his office at Pacific Diamond Sales Co. in downtown Los Angeles.

The jewelry office is just three blocks from the site where a knife ended David Mekhrabian's life.

David Mekhrabian, a soldier in the Israeli army, had not seen his father in three years when he came to Glendale for a visit in September 1997. The Mekhrabians took a trip to Santa Barbara the last weekend in September.

The next day, the father and son were waiting for David's mother outside the Pershing Square Building. A transient began to badger the Mekhrabians for 25 cents, Deputy District Attorney Bob Villa said. When David said they had no money, the man cursed and pushed Souren, so his son intervened.

Moments later the man stabbed David twice in the chest.

Los Angeles police officers arrested Dixon based on descriptions by witnesses, Detective Cliff Shepard said Wednesday.

Dixon is a convicted felon whose criminal history includes assault and aggressive panhandling, Shepard said. The latter, he said, involved Dixon allegedly arguing with a driver who did not want him washing his windows.

Dixon, who has told the court he plans to call 34 witnesses at trial, has used every means to delay the inevitable, Villa said. The case has seen three judges and four prosecutors since the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office filed charges of murder against Dixon in 1997, he said.

Shepard and his partner, Detective Jay Moberly, have been frustrated by the delays, but their sympathy goes out Mekhrabian, they said.

``This man has been through enough,'' Shepard said.

The detective acknowledged that Dixon is exercising his constitutional right to be his own attorney, but contends he has abused the system.

Villa said he will be glad when the trial actually begins.

``I don't want to get my hopes up again. I'm reserving excitement for when we actually start picking a jury,'' Villa said.

If jury selection begins today as planned, Villa said testimony could begin Monday.

CAPTION(S):

photo

PHOTO Souren Mekhrabian of Glendale holds a photo of his son, David, who was stabbed to death in 1997.

Hans Gutknecht/Daily News
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Mar 18, 1999
Words:503
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