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PROP. 21 UNDER FIRE IN TEEN MURDER CASE.

Byline: Donna Huffaker Staff Writer

GLENDALE - A Los Angeles Superior Court judge again postponed the arraignment of three teen-agers charged with murder in the May 5 slaying of a Hoover High School student.

Judge Larry Paul Fidler continued the hearing Thursday after defense attorneys argued prosecutors erred in taking the case to the grand jury before a judge or magistrate could rule on whether the minors should be tried as adults.

Under Proposition 21, which defense attorneys also have challenged, minors charged with murder are sent immediately to the adult court, not to a hearing to determine whether they are fit for handling in Juvenile Court.

Anait Ano Msryan, 14; Karen Terteryan, 18, and Rafael Gevorgyan, 15, are charged with murder, attempted murder and street gang terrorism in the death of Hoover High senior Raul Aguirre. The teen-agers have been held at Eastlake Juvenile Hall since their arrest in May. Each is being held on $1 million bail.

Aguirre, who was not in a gang, was standing in front of the high school with a friend who was a Latino gang member. Glendale police say a carload of Armenian gang members drove up and attacked the rival gang member and they fatally stabbed Aguirre and bludgeoned his head with a crowbar after he jumped in to help his friend.

Prosecutors say Msryan drove the car while Terteryan and Gevorgyan flashed gang signs. They claim that Gevorgyan hit Aguirre's head with the crowbar and Terteryan fatally stabbed the teen. Police found photographs of Msryan with Armenian gang members, flashing gang signs, in his car, prosecutors say.

Denying his client is a gang member, Gevorgyan's attorney, Andrew Flier, said Thursday that by going to the grand jury without a judge's ruling on whether they should be handled by Juvenile Court, the juveniles' rights were compromised.

Sandi Gibbons, spokeswoman for the District Attorney's Office, said prosecutors will prepare a response to the argument and it will be presented at the next hearing, to be held Thursday.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Sep 8, 2000
Words:333
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