Kings’ Slava Voynov charged with felony in wife abuse case
Kings defenseman Slava Voynov was charged Thursday with one felony count of corporal injury to a spouse with great bodily injury in connection with an incident last month at his Redondo Beach home, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office announced.
His arraignment is scheduled for Dec. 1 in Los Angeles County Superior Court in Torrance.
Voynov, a two-time Stanley Cup winner with the Kings, was arrested Oct. 20 at Little Company of Mary Hospital in Torrance after taking his wife, Marta Varlamova, to the emergency room. He was immediately suspended with pay by the NHL and has missed 14 games, including Thursday night’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes.
“During an argument at their Redondo Beach home on Oct. 19, Voynov caused his wife to suffer injuries to her eyebrow, cheek and neck, prosecutors said,” according to a statement from the district attorney’s office about the alleged attack. “The injuries were serious and required medical attention at a local hospital where the defendant was arrested.”
The Russian-born Voynov faces a maximum of nine years in prison if found guilty. He could be deported or have his immigration status changed on the basis of a felony conviction. Even a non-felony conviction might affect Voynov’s status, including his ability to travel back and forth to Canada for NHL games.
The district attorney’s office also noted the case continues to be investigated by the Redondo Beach Police Department.
“Mr. Voynov is extremely disappointed that the district attorney’s office elected to file charges,” said Craig Renetzky, Voynov’s attorney. “Mr. Voynov maintains his innocence and looks forward to clearing his name in court. We remain confident.”
Donald Etra, a veteran Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, said the usual punishment for such a charge ranges “anywhere from probation to prison.”
“There are really a wide range out outcomes in this type of situation,” he said. “Anything can happen.”
Renetzky previously told The Times and other news outlets he talked to both Voynov and Varlamova, using a Russian interpreter. The attorney said the injuries resulted from an accident and Varlamova was very clear Voynov did not punch her or strike her.
He noted a “misunderstanding” with police might have occurred because of language issues. Later, Varlamova, through her own lawyer, said she did not think a crime was committed.
Her lawyer, Michael Walsh, released a statement later Thursday: “Marta was stunned by the news today and she is devastated. She did not believe, and does not believe, that her husband intended to injure her and she believes he is not guilty of any crime.
“She is worried about her family’s privacy....
It is unfortunate that no one seems to care what she wants, and that the authorities gave little or no weight to her view of the facts of the case. Despite this unwelcome news, she still expects her husband to be cleared of any criminal wrongdoing.”
In a statement released by the National Hockey League about the charge brought against Voynov, Bill Daly, NHL deputy commissioner, said, “We are aware of the actions taken today in California, which we will review and evaluate before making any decisions. Until further notice, the current terms of Mr. Voynov’s suspension remain in place.”
Voynov’s $4.1-million salary still counts against the Kings’ salary cap. The Kings have not been optimistic about receiving salary-cap assistance.
The Kings said in a statement: “We maintain our support of the NHL’s indefinite suspension of Slava Voynov. As an organization we will continue to closely monitor the developments of the legal proceedings and work in partnership with the NHL to determine the proper course of action in the future.”
Times staff writers Helene Elliott and Nathan Fenno contributed to this report.
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