Crime & Justice

South Pasadena dad gets 25-to-life for son's killing

In this July 3, 2017, file photo, Aramazd Andressian Sr., who is charged with killing his 5-year-old son, Aramazd Andressian Jr., sits in a courtroom after pleading not guilty to a murder charge in Alhambra, Calif.
In this July 3, 2017, file photo, Aramazd Andressian Sr., who is charged with killing his 5-year-old son, Aramazd Andressian Jr., sits in a courtroom after pleading not guilty to a murder charge in Alhambra, Calif.
Allen J. Schaben/AP

A South Pasadena man who admitted killing his 5-year-old son amid a bitter custody battle has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.

Aramazd Andressian Sr. did not speak during the sentencing hearing Wednesday in the Alhambra branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court.

His estranged wife, Ana Estevez, called him a failure as a father, as a man and as a human being.

"I hope you relive the image of you murdering my baby every day for the rest of your insignificant life," Estevez said. "And when you die, may your dark soul burn in the eternal flames of hell, for I have no doubt that justice will be served both in this life and the next."

The 35-year-old Andressian pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the April death of his son, Aramazd Andressian Jr.

The killing occurred early on April 21. After a day at Disneyland with relatives, Andressian and his son, Aramazd Jr., drove about 145 miles (233 kilometers) to Lake Cachuma in Santa Barbara County.

Andressian smothered the boy and dumped the body in a wooded area near Vista Point, Los Angeles County sheriff's Detective Louie Aguilera said outside court.

The next morning, Andressian was found passed out in a South Pasadena park, sparking an intensive search for the boy. Andressian had taken prescription pills and was found in a car doused in gasoline, authorities have said.

Authorities said Andressian killed the boy in a plot to get back at his wife. Police believe he planned to frame his wife for the killing then commit suicide.

The boy's remains were found in Santa Barbara County two months after his disappearance.

"He was a kind and gentle spirit who loved to learn, laugh, read, play share, give hugs and love unconditionally," Estevez said of the boy.

Andressian's attorney said his client pleaded guilty partly to avoid the possibility of prosecutors adding a charge that could result in the death penalty. He has said Andressian told investigators where to find the boy's body.

"There is no real pain, just an incomprehensible deadness. Like my son, I, too, have died," Estevez said.

This story has been updated.