CAROLE LITTLE JUDGE SETS TRIAL DATE
LOS ANGELES — Judge Jacqueline A. Connor has set a trial date of Jan. 8 for Karapet Demirdzhyan, charged in the 1993 shooting death of Carole Little company independent contractor Jack Antonyan.
In an interview after the court session Friday, deputy district attorney Ellen Aragon said a surprise witness who was expected to give key testimony still refuses to help authorities. The witness, whose existence became known to prosecutors six weeks ago, was expected to tie the Antonyan killing into a larger pattern of violence that resulted in the murders of two Carole Little executives.
Aragon said she plans to go to trial whether or not the witness agrees to testify.
“Up until last week we still held out hope that he would cooperate,” said Aragon, who had considered having the witness testify at a pretrial evidentiary hearing. “At the moment, we have to proceed as if it’s not going to happen.”
Aragon, who has neither met the witness nor seen any statements the witness may have made to other authorities, said that calling the witness “he” could be an attempt to protect the individual’s identity.
In other developments Friday, Demirdzhyan’s lawyer James Sussman made a court request that Aragon require the U.S. government to reveal any exculpatory statements the witness may have made regarding Demirdzhyan. As previously reported, sources within the investigation have said the witness, alleged to have worked for a Carole Little contractor, was discovered by the IRS, which is said to be investigating the financial dealings of several Little company contractors.
Aragon, who said she had no information that exculpatory statements had been made, agreed to Sussman’s request.
Whatever happens with the witness in the Demirdzhyan case, law enforcement efforts to unravel the larger mystery surrounding the Carole Little incidents will continue, Aragon said.