Vartanian faces preliminary hearing Sept. 1

Vartanian faces preliminary hearing Sept. 1

The Fresno Bee
Wednesday, July 15, 2009

By Pablo Lopez

Lawyers for Fresno businessman Krikor "Kirk" Vartanian, who is facing
assault and domestic-violence charges, will have more than six weeks
to investigate the case before his preliminary hearing, a judge ruled

Fresno County Superior Court Judge Arlan Harrell also ordered
prosecutors to turn over any evidence against Vartanian to his
attorneys, Daniel Bacon and David Balakian. Specifically, defense
lawyers want to view photographs of any injuries suffered by the
alleged victim — Vartanian’s wife, Natasha.

Harrell scheduled a Sept. 1 hearing to set a date for Vartanian’s
preliminary hearing. The preliminary hearing will be held to determine
whether there is enough evidence to try Vartanian on five felony
charges stemming from an alleged attack on his wife June 26.

After Wednesday’s hearing, Vartanian and his lawyers said they won’t
discuss the case until after their investigation is completed.

Vartanian, 40, was arrested while he was in the midst of revitalizing
the Granite Park development in central Fresno.

He spent nearly two weeks in jail before he posted $155,000 bail on
the felony charges. To be released and to resolve a warrant for his
arrest in Nevada, he also had to set up payment plan on $241,000 he
owes to two Nevada casinos.

Fresno police say Vartanian and a woman argued over a $135,000 watch
in a northeast Fresno home on June 26. He slapped her, threatened her
with a large kitchen knife, sat on her, and tried to suffocate her
with a pillow, police said.


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