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Stabbing charges dropped

Two men previously arrested are freed after D.A.’s office says killing was in self-defense.

May 21, 2008|By Jason Wells

GLENDALE — Two men arrested on suspicion of murder Saturday in the stabbing death of a 30-year-old Glendale man in a Del Taco parking lot were released Tuesday after authorities decided one acted in self-defense and that there was not enough evidence to charge the second with a crime.

Avetis Barnasyan, 24, will not face murder charges for stabbing Hayk Torosyan in the chest Saturday during a physical altercation in the parking lot at 2101 W. Glenoaks Blvd., Los Angeles County district attorney’s office spokeswoman Shiara M. Davila said.

The second man arrested, 40-year-old Brian Herbert of North Hollywood, will not face charges for taking part in the physical altercation after investigators determined “there was no evidence he had committed a crime,” she said.

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Barnasyan and Herbert were scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday if the district attorney’s office had decided to pursue murder charges.

Torosyan had reportedly been trying to track Barnasyan in the days leading up to the stabbing in order to confront him over a woman they both knew.

Torosyan and Herbert confronted Barnasyan at 2:15 a.m. in the Del Taco parking lot, which is on the Burbank border, and a fight ensued, police said.

Barnasyan broke free and retrieved a knife, Glendale Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.

The two men caught up with him, and Barnasyan struck Torosyan in the upper chest with the knife and fled the scene, returning later to cooperate with Glendale Police, Lorenz said.

Torosyan was found bleeding in his car and was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead.

Herbert stayed at the scene after the stabbing.

The Los Angeles County coroner’s office on Tuesday determined Torosyan’s official cause of death to be from a single stab wound to his heart.

“It just so happened that it was a well-placed stab wound that unfortunately took his life,” Lorenz said.

Torosyan’s death is Glendale’s second homicide this year, Lorenz said.


 JASON WELLS covers Glendale City Hall. He may be reached at (818) 637-3235 or by e-mail at jason.wells@ latimes.com.

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