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Kings defenseman Slava Voynov’s wife won’t testify in domestic violence case

Courtesy Image
Courtesy Image

An attorney for Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov’s wife said Wednesday she does not want to testify against her husband in a pending domestic violence case, but a prosecutor insisted she has no right to refuse to take the stand at his trial.

Voynov is accused of punching his wife at a Halloween party and later kicking and choking her at their Redondo Beach home in October. Police had initially responded to the couple’s residence and found nobody home, but later were called to Little Company of Mary Medical Center in Torrance, where Voynov’s wife, Marta Varlamova, was being treated.

Varlamova appeared in court today for what was scheduled to be a hearing on whether comments she made to hospital workers can be admitted at Voynov’s trial. During the hearing, Varlamova’s attorney Michael J. Walsh told Judge Eric Taylor that his client does not want to testify against her husband, and does not want to explain her reasons.

In a court filing, however, Walsh said Varlamova is concerned about her privacy and the trauma of testifying against her husband.

“Ms. Varlamova has legitimate concerns about her privacy and her personal well-being and desires to avoid the emotional trauma, embarrassment and destruction of her privacy that would result from being compelled to testify in this case,” Walsh wrote in the document. “She is not willing to answer any questions ‘concerning’ the subject matter in this case.”

He asked that Varlamova be excused from attending any future court hearings in the case.

Deputy District Attorney Frank Dunnick insisted, however, that she has no right to refuse to testify in the case, noting that she was not claiming a Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, and she had no privilege as Voynov’s wife.

Taylor scheduled a May 4 hearing on the issue, and he ordered Varlamova to attend. A tentative trial date was set for July 6.

Voynov is charged with a single count of corporal injury to a spouse with great bodily injury.

Redondo Beach police Officer Gregory Wiist testified at a preliminary hearing that Varlamova told him she had been in a fight with her husband that began at a Halloween party the night of Oct. 19. When the couple went outside, Voynov punched her in the face, according to Wiist.

She told the officer that the couple went home, where the argument continued, and Voynov threw her to the ground multiple times, repeatedly kicked her and choked her three times. Varlamova also said her husband pushed her into a flat-screen television on the wall, and her face struck the corner of it, Wiist said.

She said the attack continued until Voynov saw the blood coming from her face, according to Wiist. He said that according to Varlamova, she asked Voynov to call for “emergency services,” but he instead called a friend and then drove her to the hospital.

The injury to Varlamova’s eye required eight stitches, Wiist said.

Voynov, who had a cast on his right leg in court, has been suspended by the Kings pending the outcome of the case.

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