The brother of a woman who received an insulting text message from her boyfriend was arrested Thursday on conspiracy charges, for allegedly organizing a meeting with the boyfriend that ended in murder.
Kat Vardanian called her brother, Hovik Dzuryan, after receiving an offensive text message from her boyfriend, Gombert Yepremyan, and asked her brother to beat up her boyfriend. The indictment against Dzuryan alleges that he recruited two friends who arranged to meet Yepremyan at a North Hollywood Sears parking lot. Once there, one of Dzuryan's friends hit Yepremyan, and the other shot him in the back of the head. Dzuryan was not at the scene.
Although Dzuryan's sister and the other two suspects had already been arrested, it took law enforcement almost two years to bring charges against Dzuryan. It is not known why police officers did not charge Dzuryan sooner. Both Dzuryan and his sister have pled not guilty.
In California, a conspiracy charge requires three things:
•1. An agreement by two people
•2. The intention of achieving a result which is either illegal itself or is something illegal achieved through an illegal means
•3. Taking an overt action that would achieve that end
An interesting aspect to the overt action requirement of conspiracy charges is that it does not require the conspirator to be successful. The goal of law enforcement is to charge someone with conspiracy before a crime is committed. So, the overt action involved could be the act of obtaining a gun rather than using it to shoot somebody.
Conspiracy charges can be challenging because there is seldom a "smoking gun" where two people are caught making an agreement. Generally conspiracies are proved by looking at the general circumstances surrounding the crime and the conspirators behavior. The evidence is almost always circumstantial. Given the length of time it took prosecutors to charge Dzuryan, this is almost certainly the kind of evidence they will be using to try and convict him.