In an emotionally charged Alhambra courtroom Wednesday, Aramazd Andressian Sr. was sentenced for the killing of his 5-year-old son, Aramazd Andressian Jr. After pleading guilty to the charge of murder in the first degree, Judge Cathryn Brougham sentenced the 35-year old father to 25 years to life in a state prison. Since no special circumstances could be attached to the crime, the death penalty was not pursued by Deputy District Attorney, Craig Hum.
Amongst a large contingency of supporters wearing t-shirts reading, “Justice for Piqui” (as the boy was affectionately known), four family members addressed the court and Andressian Sr. directly including the boy’s mother, Ana Estevez prior to sentencing. After listening to the heartfelt and often times contentious messages from three of Estevez’s family members, Ana Estevez delivered an emotionally packed statement, displaying her deepest sorrow and describing the tragedy as “cataclysmic devastation”.
“I wish I was taken instead of my son”, the grief stricken mother exclaimed, adding, “The light of my life has been extinguished forever.”
“He loved life. And now I will never see my son graduate from high school. Or see him graduate from college. Or meet and fall in love with the woman of his dreams.”
But the wave of emotions openly displayed by Estevez soon turned to anger as she addressed her ex-husband directly.
“I pity you. You are a failure as a father and you are a failure of a man.”
Andressian Sr. was then given the opportunity to address the court. However, Judge Brougham advised Andressian and his defense attorney, Ambrosio Rodriguez that whatever Andressian chose to say would be done so under oath and subject to cross examination. After a brief consultation with his counsel, Andressian declined to speak. Instead, Rodriguez addressed the court on his client’s behalf. And in an effort to alleviate the heinous nature of the crime prior to sentencing, Rodriguez implored to court to note how quickly Andressian had come forward, admitting his guilt to law enforcement personnel soon after being taken into custody.
Brougham then rendered her sentence, giving Andressian 25 years to life imprisonment and ordered financial restitution be made to Estevez and the court. Andressian waived his right to appearance at that hearing to determine the amount.
After the proceeding when pressed about Andressian’s decision not to address the court, Rodriguez explained, “Sometimes, it’s best to be silent” and that pleading guilty early on during questioning was to “avoid special circumstances”.
Afterwards, several law enforcement personnel along with the Deputy D.A. held a brief press conference including Estevez herself. With South Pasadena Police Chief Arthur Miller standing behind her, Estevez thanked everyone from community members who volunteered during the search for Piqui and the several law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation including the South Pasadena and San Marino Police Departments to the district attorney’s office and even the media for keeping her son’s story in the spotlight every day. And with a brief smile of relief, Ana Estevez proclaimed her son is “living a glorious life in heaven”.
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