Men sentenced for killing woman

Both might serve life in prison for roles in shooting that stemmed from unpaid debt.

December 08, 2010|By Veronica Rocha,

PASADENA — Two men convicted of killing a 49-year-old Burbank woman over an unpaid debt were sentenced Monday to state prison terms of 50 years to life and 16 years to life, drawing angry outbursts from family members in the Pasadena courtroom.

Sheriff's deputies escorted family members of the men — 29-year-old Burbank resident Armen Mangasaryan and 20-year-old Glendale resident Arpiar Terrgalstanyan — out of the Los Angeles County Superior Courthouse after they started yelling. The men's families continued shouting as they walked along East Walnut Street in Pasadena.

"It's just a tragedy all the way around," Deputy Dist. Atty. Russell Moore said. "There was a brutal murder … and the family is losing their loved ones for a long time."


Superior Court Judge Lisa Lench sentenced Mangasaryan to 50 years to life for the first-degree murder of Jasmine Voskanian, who was shot to death Feb. 25, 2009, when she opened the front door of her house.

Terrgalstanyan, who was Mangasaryan's accomplice and alleged getaway driver, was previously sentenced to 16 months, and on Monday was given an additional sentence of 16 years to life for second-degree murder, including an allegation that he had a gun, officials said.

He pleaded no contest to two counts of possessing assault weapons six weeks before the trial started.

Expert witnesses, friends and family testified during the August trial, which jurors deliberated on for nearly two days before finding the men guilty of Voskanian's murder.

The pair reportedly fired their trial attorneys, Donald Levinson and Michael Levin, and hired new ones for the sentencing.

During the trial, the men's attorneys claimed the prosecution's case was based on circumstantial evidence that included gunshot residue testing and suspect descriptions.

Burbank resident Bella Stepanyan, 27, pleaded no contest in January to being an accessory after the fact and was sentenced to a year in county jail and three years of probation.

Stepanyan, who was the girlfriend of Mangasaryan's brother, had testified during trial that she let Voskanian borrow $8,500 and suspected her of fraudulently accessing her bank account.

Authorities said the men were acting on Stepanyan's behalf when they went to Voskanian's home in the 4200 block of Jacaranda Avenue in Burbank to confront her.

When Voskanian answered her front door and stepped out, she was shot once in the head, authorities said.

Her ex-boyfriend, who testified during the trial, found her body.

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