Burbank man, 19, pleads not guilty in alleged street-racing crash that killed 3

BURBANK, Calif. (KABC) -- A 19-year-old man appeared in court and pleaded not guilty Monday to murder and reckless driving charges stemming from an alleged street-racing crash in Burbank that killed three people earlier this month.

Hamlet Arseni Aghajanyan of Burbank is charged with three counts of murder and one count of reckless driving, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

Aghajanyan was arrested last Thursday, along with a 17-year-old suspect whose name has not been released. Both teenagers are accused of being the drivers of two racing cars that crashed with a Volkswagen Aug. 3 on Glenoaks Boulevard at Andover Drive.

The crash killed Jaiden Kishon Johnson, 20, Natalee Asal Moghaddam, 19, and Cerain Baker, 21, the son of accomplished comedian Tony Baker. A fourth person was critically injured in the collision.

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Friends and loved ones of Cerain Baker, who was among three innocent victims killed in a violent crash caused by street racing, gathered outside Burbank City Hall to demand arrests in the case.

The L.A. County District Attorney's office charged Aghajanyan for being the driver of a gray Kia that raced alongside a black Mercedes-Benz that ultimately collided with a Volkswagen taking a left. Police say the victims who died were passengers of the Volkswagen and were not involved in the alleged street race.

Aghajanyan's attorney George Mgdesyan said his client feels remorseful about the crash.

"He feels very bad for what's happened. Obviously, he himself, he's recovering from his injuries. He was in the hospital for a couple weeks, had multiple surgeries," Mgdesyan said. "My understanding is he needed to have another procedure, but now he's inside, so we're going to have to try to coordinate that while he's in custody."

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A crash caused by street racing left three innocent people dead and two others hospitalized late Tuesday night in Burbank, officials said.

Burbank police said Thursday the driver of the black Mercedes-Benz, the 17-year-old suspect, was also taken into custody and was being detained at a juvenile detention facility on three counts of murder and one count of reckless driving, pending review of the case by the L.A. County District Attorney's Office.

Aghajanyan remains jailed in lieu of $6 million bail while awaiting his next court appearance Oct. 6.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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