Police make two more arrests in killing D.A. officials call a hate crime

Los Angeles police on Thursday arrested two additional suspects in the murder of Glendale resident Joshua West, a violent killing that prosecutors have described as a hate crime motivated by West’s sexual orientation.

West, 33, was beaten, shot, run over and left for dead in Sun Valley on April 24, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

Hachik Maskovian, 28, was arrested two days later and is being held without bail. The Van Nuys resident is charged with murder and faces special circumstance enhancements that include kidnapping and commission of a hate crime.

Maskovian’s older brother, 34-year-old Hovanes “John” Maskovian, was arrested by Los Angeles police on Thursday at his Sun Valley residence, district attorney’s spokeswoman Shiara Davila-Morales said.

Nazaret “Nick” Bayamdzhyan, 19, was also arrested Thursday in the Sun Valley area in connection with West’s death, Davila-Morales said.

The two are also being held without bail pending charges that prosecutors expect to file on Monday, she added.

On Friday morning, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Alice E. Altoon postponed Hachik Maskovian’s arraignment in a San Fernando courtroom after Deputy District Attorney Geoffrey Lewin requested that all three suspects enter a plea during one hearing under an amended criminal complaint.

“Now we have three defendants in a special-circumstances murder case,” Lewin said.

Altoon set the arraignments for Monday in San Fernando.

Lewin referred questions about the case to the district attorney’s office, which so far has released limited details about West’s murder.

Officials previously said Hachik Maskovian encountered West while offering assistance with a tow-truck he was driving, then beat West, placed him in the truck and drove off.

Police officers responding to a report of possible gunshots in the 10700 block of Vinedale Street discovered blood and other evidence, according to prosecutors. Another report of gunshots in the 10200 block of Penrose Street, less than a mile away, led police to West’s body dumped along the road.

The district attorney’s office has not specified whether any of the men arrested knew West.

West’s sister, Erica Gamble of North Carolina, said last month that Hachik Maskovian may have known West’s former boyfriend of seven years.

Glendale attorney Robert Yousefian, who represents Hachik Maskovian, said prosecutors have not turned over evidence in the case and provided little information to him about their theory of the crime during the three months his client has been in custody.

“I have even less [than the newspaper],” Yousefian said.

-- Joe Piasecki, joe.piasecki@latimes.com

Follow on Twitter: @JoePiasecki.

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