Local man sentenced in Armenia

first_imgA Glendale man who fled to Armenia in 2005 when he came under suspicion of strangling his girlfriend was convicted by an Armenian court of her murder, authorities said Friday. Artur Khanzadyan, 25, was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison by an Armenian judge in the death of Odet Tsaturyan, of Glendale. He was arrested in Armenia last November, about two months after the body of the 23-year-old woman was found in the trunk of his car, which was abandoned in Azusa. The verdict was delivered Friday by Judge Mushegh Harutunyan at a court in Vanadzor, a city about a three-hour drive from the capital of Yerevan and Khanzadyan’s hometown, Glendale police spokesman John Balian said. “Under the circumstances that we were faced with – as far as the challenge of bringing him back over here – this was the best we could do to bring him to justice,” Balian said. “There will always be a difference between the two systems. But I think it’s important the criminal element out there know that if we have to go to Armenia to prosecute you, we will.” Schiff, who sent two letters over the past year to Armenian President Robert Kocharian requesting Khanzadyan’s return, hoped for better cooperation from authorities next time a fugitive seeks refuge there. “We are grateful that we apprehended him and that he’s not living free in Armenia,” he said in an interview Friday. “But we felt that justice would’ve been best served if he had been prosecuted in the United States.” Judge Harutunyan reached the verdict after two days of hearings that began Tuesday. Reports prepared by Glendale police and the county coroner’s office were submitted as evidence, and three witnesses – Odet’s father Shagen Tsaturyan and two of Khanzadyan’s relatives – testified, Balian said. As part of a local custom, Tsaturyan confronted the accused about his daughter’s death. “At one point, Khanzadyan made disparaging remarks that his daughter was not the angel he thought she was,” Balian said. “The judge jumped in and said, `Be careful how you speak in my courtroom. Don’t disrespect the victim’s father.”‘ Khanzadyan’s attorney Karine Gasparyan said her client did not intentionally kill Odet Tsaturyan – she had stopped breathing, and the neck injuries that pointed to strangling came from his attempt to revive her by CPR. She also said Khanzadyan suffered a childhood head injury that prevented rational thinking. “Khanzadyan apologized to anyone who was affected by the incident, but he denied he intentionally killed Odet Tsaturyan,” Balian said. [email protected] (818) 546-3304160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREFrumpy Middle-aged Mom: My realistic 2020 New Year’s resolutions. Some involve doughnuts.“Based on the police report and the evidence provided, Khanzadyan was found guilty of murder with the act of jealousy,” he said Friday, citing a report from two Glendale police detectives who assisted prosecutors and attended the trial. “We’ll be monitoring to make sure he does the full 10 years.” Khanzadyan has about two months to appeal the decision. The Tsaturyans did not immediately return calls for comment Friday. Glendale police and U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Pasadena, had hoped to try Khanzadyan in the United States, where he could have been sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for murder, compared to the maximum 12 years in Armenia. But the two nations do not have a formal extradition treaty, and the request was denied despite previous cooperation from authorities. last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *