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Turkish man charged in Valencia crash is working a deal

Posted: February 26, 2013 6:23 p.m.
Updated: February 26, 2013 6:23 p.m.

A 20-year-old Turkish man charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter for a car crash last summer that killed a young Turkish woman was represented in court today by a lawyer trying to work out a deal for him.

Attorney Berc Agopoglu of Century City appeared in Santa Clarita Court on behalf of his client Musa M. Mis, now in Turkey.

Outside the courtroom, Agopoglu said his client — who could very easily have stayed in Turkey and ignored prosecution of the misdemeanor — wants to do the right thing.

“He wants to cooperate with the prosecution and he wants to cooperate with the city of Santa Clarita,” he said.
Details of a deal offered to Mis by a local deputy district attorney were disclosed today in court.

Agopoglu told Judge Hilleri G. Merritt he’s reviewed details of the deal but said he needs time to phone his client in Turkey and discuss it.

Agopoglu founded a law firm that has acquired extensive trial experience in immigration law, according to the firm’s website. People who work in The Agopoglu Law Firm assist clients in several languages including Turkish.

Prosecutors are offering Mis no jail time, a $1,000 fine, three years probation, a requirement to take an online American driving class and restitution to the victim’s family, the court heard.

The judge ordered Mis to appear back in court in two months for arraignment and to enter a plea. His lawyer can make the appearance for him.

Prosecutors have named Mis as the driver of a car that crashed on Aug. 19 on McBean Parkway in Valencia, killing the passenger, Tugba Elbirlik, 21, of Turkey.

The Mazda Miata that Mis was driving was traveling at more than 90 mph when it crashed into trees in McBean’s center divider, Detective Jeff Maag, a traffic investigator for the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, said at the time charges were filed.

Elbirlik and Mis had been living in Valencia for the summer and working at Six Flags Magic Mountain on work visas.

If he decides to take the deal offered by prosecutors, Mis would be expected to pay restitution to Elbirlik’s family including funeral expenses and the cost of shipping the young woman’s body back to Turkey, according to discussions in court today.

Elbirlik, a second-year student of the Business Administration Department at Yeditepe University in Istanbul, Turkey, died as a result of injuries suffered in the crash in front of Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital.


on Twitter @jamesarthurholt


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