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Suspect In Texting Murder Appears In Court Friday

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VAN NUYS (CBS) — A murder suspect who led police on a two-year manhunt was in court Friday.

Zareh Manjikian, 23, is charged in the 2009 murder of 19-year-old Michael Yepremyan, who was fatally shot in a North Hollywood parking lot. The victim had apparently insulted Manjikian’s friend in a text message.

Manjikian spoke exclusively to CBS2 Thursday before surrendering to the Los Angeles Police Department.

When CBS2’s Randy Paige asked why he was on the run, he said that hadn’t been and was just scared to face police.

“I want people to know that I’m innocent. I want to straighten this once and for all,” he said.

Paige asked Manjikian what he would want to say to Yepremyan’s family to which he replied, “I’m sorry for their loss and my heart goes out to them.”

Authorities believe they have their gunman, but Manjikian’s attorney claims his client is innocent.

Manjikian will be return to court August 3 when a date will be set for a preliminary hearing. He is being held on an $8 million bail.

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