by WeHo News staff, West Hollywood, California
Vol. 7 Issue 31
“Last summer, a jury simply could not agree to convict Vitaliy Krasnoperov, now age 26, for his role in the 2007 beating and burning deaths of the Dhanak family in Orange County.
This morning, another jury had no such trepidation. The jurors reached a verdict in Mr. Krasnoperov’s trial not long after entering chambers yesterday, but could not agree on a verdict for his co-defendant, Charles Murphy Jr.
The judge declared a mistrial in his case.
Co-defendants Vitaliy Krasnoperov, 26, of Hollywood and Charles Anthony Murphy Jr., 26, of Mission Hills were charged with murder and attempted murder, plus special circumstances, for their roles in the May 21, 2007, slayings of Jayprakash Dhanak, 56, and Karishma Dhanak, 20.
Prosecutors charged both men in connection with primary suspect Iftekhar Murtaza, who is alleged to have concocted the murders to get his ex-girlfriend’s parents and family out of the way after they allegedly forced a breakup due to religious reasons.
Mr. Murtaza is Muslim; the Dhanaks are Hindu.
The girlfriend, Shayona, lost her father and sister in the killings. Her mother was badly injured in the affair, suffering a slashed throat and a blow to the head that left her comatose for weeks.
Ms. Dhanak testified that she sought to escape a controlling relationship when she told Mr. Murtaza about the forced split, but felt dismay when he told her he would “convert religions for you. Don’t do this.”
According to the prosecutor, Howard Gundy, Mr. Krasnoperov provided aid and support by suggesting ways to kill the family so the lovers could be free of their influence.”
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