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Glendale man convicted of first-degree murder sentenced to 50 years to life

Map shows location of the shooting in purple, as well nearby homicides, in red, since January 2007. Click for more details on The Times’ interactive Homicide Report.

A 29-year-old Glendale man convicted of shooting a female acquaintance in the face was sentenced Tuesday to 50 years to life in state prison, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said.

Pasadena Superior Court Judge Lisa Lench sentenced Armen Mangasaryan and his co-defendant Arpiar Terrgalstanyan, 21, who received 16 months plus 16 years to life in state prison.

In August, a jury convicted Mangasaryan of first-degree murder in the killing of Jasmine Voskanian, 49, of Burbank. Terrgalstanyan, who drove the getaway car, was convicted of second-degree murder. A third defendant, Bella Stepanyan, 27, pleaded no contest to one count of accessory after the fact. She was sentenced to 360 days in county jail and three years of formal probation.

Voskanian was fatally shot Feb. 25, 2009, after opening the door to Mangasaryan. Evidence presented during the trial revealed that the victim owed money to Stepanyan.

Share a thought or memory about Voskanian on The Times' Homicide Report.

-- Corina Knoll

Map: Location of the shooting is shown in purple, as well as other homicides, in red, since January 2007. Credit: Homicide Report

Click to visit The Times' interactive Homicide Report

Comments () | Archives (2)

Why does throwing off somebody off the building get you a parole hearing after 25 years, but shooting a gun gets 50 years before the first-parole hearing

In other states, like Colorado, Iowa, Florida, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, Louisana, Mississippi, Michigan, Delaware, and several other states results in automatic life without parole sentence for first-degree murder.

Either make the sentences life without parole for first-degree murder or eliminate the dumb gun enhancement. Murder is murder no matter if you throw somebody a building or shoot them. Therefore, the penalty for throwing off somebody the building should be the same as shooting somebody with a gun.

There seems to be more to the story here. I hate to sound ignorant, but this sounds like an Armenian Mafia subplot straight out of "The Shield." A 49 year old (Armenian) woman gets shot in the face by a young (Armenian) thug on her front door step over $16K owed to someone else (another Armenian)? That's not all. The "hit" may have been ordered by another Armenian from jail, and the getaway driver (you guessed it, Armenian) had sentencing enhancements after copping to assault weapons possession.

The debt was owed to one Bella Stepanyan. The shooter, Mangasaryan, just so happens to be the brother of Ms. Stepanyan's boyfriend, who is in prison. Ms. Stepanyan got wise and took a plea deal to accessory after the fact (getting just one year in prison -- quite a deal unless you consider that she likely had to roll on her co-conspirators -- not something these types ordinarily look favorably upon) after being presented with an audio recording of a three way call she had with her boyfriend in prison and his brother who was the shooter. That part wasn't very Mafiosi-like. Everyone and their brother (except, apparently, the Bros. Mangasaryan) knows that calls from or to prison are monitored. At any rate, the girlfriend conference calls with the two brothers about her problem. The younger brother asks permission to take care of it ("This one, leave it to me. I'm asking") and his jailbird brother, with authority that seems to rise above that of just an older sibling, tells him, "You may do so." Brother whacks victim, hops in car with getaway driver and the cops unravel the whole thing by pinning down the one person who seems to have instigated it -- the girlfriend, Ms. Stepanyan, who was the one who lent the victim the money in the first place. How they let her plead to just one year (again, she must have turned State's evidence to come out smelling so pretty) and how the brother who was already in the Big House and who was clearly a participant in this (he pretty much gave his brother the marching orders) skated free are unclear. The fact that the getaway driver only got second degree murder might indicate that the intent wasn't supposed to be murder (perhaps just a friendly little shakedown), but that Mangasaryan took it too far. Still, under the felony murder doctrine (i.e., any death that results from the commission of a violent felony is foreseeable) it could have meant Murder One for all involved. I note that at one point the prosecutors wanted to make it a death penalty case for "lying in wait" but dropped those charges in January. Again, I wonder if the younger, hungry ("Leave this to me. I'm asking") Mangasarian, in an effort to make a name for himself, took what was supposed to be a not-too-subtle housecall/tune-up and made it into a gruesome murder. Shooting someone in the face over $16K sounds more like sending a message than collecting on a past due debt.

If any bodies show up in the LA River basin missing hands and feet, I'm calling Detective Mackey. Just sayin'

Further reading:





Per the Glendale News Press:

"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."

So I think it was more about the assault weapons possession charges than the manner of killing


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