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Man pleads not guilty to shooting woman, dumping body on 210 Freeway

July 14, 2011|By Jason Wells and Veronica Rocha; veronica.rocha@latimes.com

A 27-year-old Tujunga man accused of fatally shooting his cousin and dumping her on the Foothill (210) Freeway pleaded not guilty Thursday.

Appearing in Los Angelse County Superior Court in a wheelchair with what appeared to be an injured left eye, Aram Sarukhanyan pleaded not guilty to shooting and killing his cousin, Adrine Arzumanyan, on April 29 in a vehicle on the Foothill (210) freeway.

He was charged with one count of murder and another felony count of brandishing a firearm at a civilian who attempted to stop him after he dumped her body at the La Crescenta Avenue offramp, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

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Sarukhanyan was arrested after he was released from Huntington Memorial Hospital, where he was taken to treat a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his chin shortly after Arzumanyan was found dead on the freeway and he was confronted by police.

Officials said Arzumanyan — a married mother of a 6-month-old boy — was shot at least once in the upper body before being pushed out from the car onto the westbound La Crescenta Avenue offramp.

He had been held in custody in lieu of $3-million bail, according to sheriff’s department records.

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