The man accused of killing his sister-in-law and two of her small children was formally charged today as he was surrounded by four deputies.
Grigoriy Bukhantsov,19, accepted the appointment of public defender John Perkins.
Bukhantsov is suspected of using a knife to kill 23-year-old Alina Bukhantsov, her 3-year-old son Avenir and her 2-year-old daughter Emmanuella in their home. Her 6-month-old son Mark survived the alleged attack.
Bukhantsov’s father and a brother were in the courtroom but left after the short proceeding. He reportedly moved to Missouri after a restraining order was filed against his son. Family members say they were afraid of Grigoriy’s threatening behavior.
Perkins said he visited Grigoriy two days ago and that he seemed confused over his isolation in the psychiatric cell. He also said Bukhantsov was remorseful.
“He was distraught when I talked with him, he was crying when I saw him,” said Perkins.
A psychiatric evaluation will be part of the proceedings.
“There appears to be some reports of mental illness. I mean the news reports and family members show they’ve been concerned about him for quite a while,” said Perkins.
Buy Perkins wouldn’t say if that would play a role in his defense.
Bukhantsov was also charged with a special circumstance: multiple murder. Prosecutor Steve Grippi said they are months away from determining if this will be a death penalty case.
“We have to do a thorough investigation of his background looking a the aggravating and mitigating factors that the law requires, a meeting with the family and the district attorney Jan Scully,” said Grippi.