An alleged case of rape and revenge in Clovis

FRESNO, Calif.

Casildo Varbarin's life turned upside-down at a Clovis apartment complex in early February.

The 22-year-old's girlfriend told him a group of men had sexually assaulted her and Varbarin knew the men.

Within a couple days, Clovis police arrested Varbarin on charges that he killed Ahjahn Thirakoune -- a friend he blamed for the rape.

Curt Fleming with the Clovis Police Department said, "While questioning [Thirakoune] about that, he found out [Thirakoune] had also had sex with this girl and he didn't feel [Thirakoune] was taking it very serious and he became upset."

Varbarin's attorney says Thirakoune was like an uncle to her client, but his actions before his death were criminal.

Varbarin's defense attorney Margarita Martinez-Baly said, "He made comments to the effect that [Varbarin] should not marry her because she was now somehow soiled?"

Fleming: "That's correct."

Martinez-Baly: "And that's when he admitted that the four of them had raped her?"

Fleming: "That's correct."

A judge wouldn't allow us to show Varbarin's face in court, but in his mug shot, you can see injuries to his neck.

Investigators interviewed him in the emergency room at Community Regional Medical Center and say he confessed to killing Thirakoune by stabbing him in the heart, then tried to slit his own throat.

His defense attorney says, if Varbarin really killed Thirakoune, it was in the heat of passion. But prosecutors say Varbarin had already planned to kill someone, and a conversation with his roommate on the day of the murder proves it.

Drake Hodge with the Clovis Police Department said, "He said he wanted a gun, that he needed a gun, he needed one right away for some protection."

A judge decided Thursday there is enough evidence for Varbarin to stand trial for murder. He's due back in court next month.

Prosecutors have charged one man for the sexual assault. Two more suspects have not been arrested.

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