Charges Filed Against Kirk Vartanian

June 30, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A Fresno businessman is now facing more criminal charges than originally expected. Late Tuesday, Prosecutors charged Kirk Vartanian with six counts relating to domestic violence.Nevada prosecutors will now have to wait to try Vartanian. The Fresno businessman was trying to redevelop Granite Park, but Vartanian landed in legal trouble that could send him to prison.

Police booked Vartanian on just four criminal charges. Chief Jerry Dyer said Vartanian tried to smother a woman and held a knife to her face. Fresno County's District Attorney filed six charges against him: 2 counts felony assault, 1 count domestic violence, 1 count criminal threats, 1 count false imprisonment and 1 count disobeying a court order.

Las Vegas prosecutors also issued an arrest warrant for Vartanian. They accuse him of passing $250,000 dollars worth of bad checks to major casinos. Chief Deputy District Attorney Bernie Zadrowski told Action News over the phone: "If he bails out, then my detainer will be in place. I will now just have ten days to get him. But if he stays in custody, then I can't come and get him on my case until the conclusion on California's case."

ABC 30 Legal Analyst Tony Capozzi had prior dealings with the Vartanian family but is not involved in this case. Capozzi said the local case should take precedence and an extradition hearing could take place before Vartanian is sent to Las Vegas. Capozzi explained how the defendant could fight the process, "Whether or not he is guilty or not guilty is not an issue. I'm not the person you are seeking. The charges you have filed may not be the same charges we have in this state. Therefore, I'm prohibited from going back."

Kirk Vartanian is now facing more than seven years in prison if convicted here in Fresno County. He will be arraigned Wednesday morning. We contact Vartanian's defense attorney late Tuesday. He told us Vartanian is eager to tell his side of the story.

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