Four convicted in death over texted slur

Aug. 4, 2012 at 2:13 PM

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 4 (UPI) -- Four people have been convicted in the shooting death of a California man who called a woman a derogatory name in a text message.

A Los Angeles County jury deliberated for two days before finding Zareh Manjikian and Vahahn Jurian, both 25, guilty Friday of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit assault in the 2009 slaying of Gombert "Mike" Yepremyan, 19, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Khatum Vardanian, 23, the target of the text message slur and Jurian's cousin, and her brother Hovik Dzhuryan, 20, were convicted of conspiracy to commit assault.

Yepremyan was beaten and shot in the parking lot of a Sears store in North Hollywood after he sent a text message to his girlfriend, who was with Vardanian at the time, calling Vardanian a "bitch."

Vardanian saw the message and called her brother to have him beat up Yepremyan. Dzhuryan then called Jurian, who enlisted Manjikian. Manjikian was brought the gun with which the victim was killed, authorities said.

Sentencing for the four will be Aug. 29. Vardanian and Dzhuryan could receive each five-year prison terms. Manjikian faces 50 years to life in prison, while Jurian faces 26 years to life.

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