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Winnetka : Suspect in ’94 Killing Arrested in Armenia

A 25-year-old man suspected of killing one man and wounding two others in Winnetka last year has been arrested in Armenia, Los Angeles police said Wednesday.

Khachatur Tonoyan was arrested Monday in the capital city of Yerevan, Detective Rick Swanston said.

On March 7, 1994, Tonoyan met his father-in-law, Telman Babayan, and two other men in a Sav-on Drugs parking lot to discuss Tonoyan’s upcoming divorce and the treatment of his wife, Swanston said.

But an argument ensued and Tonoyan shot all three with a .380 pistol, Swanston said. Fatally injured was Khatchatour Abovchian, 47. Both Babayan and Akop Topachikyan, 50, were wounded, Swanston said.

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Tonoyan fled the country after the shooting, Swanston said. “We had him pinned down for about a week after the murder,” he said, “and we’ve been trying to get [Armenian authorities] to do something.”

But political flux in the country, which split off from the former Soviet Union, prevented an arrest until this week, Swanston said. Tonoyan will be tried in the killing in Armenia, since the United States has no extradition treaty with the country, Swanston said.


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