ALHAMBRA, Calif. — A California father who admitted killing his 5-year-old son amid a bitter custody battle was sentenced Wednesday to 25 years to life in prison during a hearing where his estranged wife wished him an eternity in hell.
Aramazd Andressian Sr., 35, pleaded guilty earlier this month in Los Angeles County Superior Court to first-degree murder in the April death of his son after a family trip to Disneyland.
Andressian smothered his son, Aramazd Andressian Jr., with a child’s jacket in his car, sheriff’s Detective Louie Aguilera said after the hearing Wednesday, the first time investigators divulged how the boy died.
Aguilera said the boy was killed about an hour after he and his father arrived in Santa Barbara, and his body was left in a wooded area near Vista Point.
“I hope you relive the image of murdering my baby every day of your insignificant life,” the boy’s mother, Ana Estevez, told Andressian just before he was sentenced.
“May your dark soul burn in eternal hell,” she said.
Estevez also called her husband a failure as a father, a man and a human being.
“There is no real pain, just an incomprehensible deadness. Like my son, I, too, have died,” she said.
Andressian did not speak during the hearing. He 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 at his wife.
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 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.
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 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.”