Court Rejects DA’s Attempt to Retry Two Charges in Sassounian Case

LOS ANGELES–During another hearing for the retrial of the special circumstance in the Hampig Sassounian case–presiding Judge Robert Perry Wednesday inquired from Deputy District Attorney Greg Dohi about how he intends to retry the lying in wait–special circumstance–enhancement.

The Court in the original trial–almost two decades ago–dismissed–with perjudice–the lying in wait and personal use–special circumstance.

Hampig Sassounian’s attorney–Mark Geragos explained that–ordinarily–the District Attorney must move to reinstate the dismissal within 60 days of the ruling–not two decades later. Judge Perry spent little time in deciding that the personal use and lying in wait portions of the DA’s case were to be stricken.

Judge Perry then turned to the District Attorney’s case plan and asked Dohi how he intended to proceed on the case. Dohi explained that the killing amounted to an ambush murder perepetrated because of the victim’s national origin. Dohi indicated that–in order to prove Sassounian’s nationalistic ferver–he would introduce photos of Sassounian posing in front of an assassin’s monument–an apparent reference to the Soghomon Tehlirian gravestone located in Fresno–Calf.

The Court also asked about the experts the District Attorney intended to introduce who would testify about terrorism. It was ultimately decided that Dohi will submit a document explaining what evidence the experts would be using in their testimony.

The issue of whether the District Attorney’s Office can proceed on the remaining special circumstance charge–that of national origin–will be heard by the court on March 11.

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