ALHAMBRA (AP) — A California father who admitted killing his 5-year-old son amid a bitter custody battle with his estranged wife is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday.
Aramazd Andressian, Sr., 35, faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison after pleading guilty earlier this month to first-degree murder in the April death of his son, Aramazd Andressian, Jr., after a family trip to Disneyland.
Andressian, who confessed to the killing, pleaded guilty partly to avoid the possibility of prosecutors adding a charge that could result in the death penalty, his attorney has said.
Authorities have said Andressian killed his son in a plot to get back to his estranged wife. Los Angeles County sheriff’s investigators believe the boy was killed on April 21. His father was found passed out in a park the next morning, sparking an intensive search for the boy. Andressian had taken prescription pills and was found in a car in the park doused in gasoline in an apparent suicide attempt, sheriff’s officials have said.
Investigators searched for more than two months before they found the boy’s body on June 30 near Lake Cachuma outside Santa Barbara — about 145 miles (233 kilometers) away from Anaheim, where Disneyland is located.
Prosecutors have not revealed how the boy was killed but said the evidence against Andressian is overwhelming and the killing was planned and deliberate.
Andressian’s attorney Ambrosio Rodriguez has repeatedly declined to comment when asked why Andressian killed his son but has said the killing was “not planned.” Rodriguez has said his client told investigators where to find his son’s remains and regrets killing the boy.
A report by the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, obtained by The Associated Press, said the boy’s skeletal remains were found in a wooded area in Santa Ynez. The report described the boy as being the victim of “physical and severe neglect.”