June 19, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Slava Voynov’s domestic violence trial proceeds

Courtesy Image
Courtesy Image

Statements allegedly made by the wife of Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov to a police officer, security guard and a nurse can be admitted in her husband’s domestic violence trial, a judge ruled Friday.

A prosecutor pushed to have the statements admitted because Voynov’s wife, Marta Varlamova, has said she does not want to testify against her husband. Superior Court Judge Eric C. Taylor has asked her to attend domestic violence counseling to see if it will sway her to testify.

Varlamova is scheduled to attend her first counseling session on Wednesday, according to her attorney. Taylor scheduled another hearing for May 27 to get an update on whether she plans to testify.

Voynov, 25, who is from Russia, is charged with a felony count of corporal injury to a spouse with great bodily injury. He is accused of punching his wife at a Halloween party and later kicking and choking her at their Redondo Beach home last October. Police had initially responded to the couple’s residence and found nobody home, but later were called to Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center in Torrance, where his wife was being treated.

At a Dec. 15 hearing in which Voynov was ordered to stand trial, Redondo Beach police Officer Gregory Wiist testified 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 allegedly punched her in the face, according to Wiist.

The woman 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.

At the end of a hearing that stretched over three days, Taylor ruled that Varlamova’s alleged statement to Wiist that her husband had pushed her into a TV stand can be admitted at trial. Her alleged comment to a security guard that her husband hit her will also be admitted, the judge ruled, as will her alleged statement to a nurse that she was injured when she hit a television stand.

The judge disallowed testimony about statements Varlamova allegedly made to a social worker at the hospital. He did not immediately decide whether to admit the testimony of a triage nurse, Cassie Wong. Wong testified during the evidentiary hearing that Varlamova told her, “My husband pushed me into the TV stand,” and added that “this wasn’t the first time this happened.”

Over a defense objection, Taylor ruled that jurors would also be allowed to hear testimony from Wiist that Varlamova allegedly told him, “This wasn’t the first time this happened.”

The defense contended that Varlamova’s alleged statements were coerced, with police and hospital workers delaying treatment of her injuries until she described what had happened. Taylor, however, rejected that argument.

Taylor also ordered that Voynov and his wife not discuss the case.

Voynov has been suspended by the National Hockey League pending the outcome of the criminal case.

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