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Glendale : Trial Set in Stabbing Death

June 17, 1993

A Glendale couple have been ordered to stand trial in the fatal stabbing of a neighbor and wounding of the victim's brother, officials said.

Vazgen and Silvard Akopyan were ordered Tuesday by Glendale Municipal Judge Joseph DeVanon to appear June 30 for arraignment in Pasadena Superior Court. Both defendants face one count each of murder and attempted murder. Silvard Akopyan, 38, also is charged with being an accessory after the fact because she allegedly drove the getaway vehicle, officials said.

Zhirayr Safaryan, 20, was fatally stabbed on Feb. 22 during an altercation near a park in the 800 block of East Maple Street, while his brother, Grayr, 19, suffered four stab wounds and survived the attack, police said.

During the two-day preliminary hearing, prosecution witnesses testified that the stabbing was prompted by a dispute over the Akopyans' daughter. Grayr Safaryan had broken up with the couple's daughter in January. Police Investigator John McKillop testified that the defendants' children told police that their 38-year-old father, Vazgen Akopyan, confessed to stabbing one of the victims. No defense witnesses were called.

Vazgen Akopyan's attorney, Manuel Miller, said he considers the attack self-defense.

Arthur Avazian, attorney for Silvard Akopyan, said his client "didn't have a knife and she had no intent whatsoever to harm either of the brothers."

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