Aramazd Andressian Sr pleads guilty to killing toddler son as revenge against his estranged wife during contentious divorce. Killed boy after Disneyland visit.
Aramazd Andressian Sr a South Pasadena, California man on Tuesday pled guilty to the murder of his five year old son after a ‘surprise family trip’ to Disneyland as revenge against the boy’s mother after the parents separated.
The boy’s disappearance led to the father claiming that his son must have been abducted, until a search two months later led to the discovery of Aramazd Andressian Jr’s body near a lake, two hours away from Disneyland was located.
During trial testimony, prosecutors contended the 35 year old father killing his son to get back at his estranged wife amid a tumultuous divorce.
Investigators have refused to say how the boy was killed or what evidence linked the father to the boy’s death reported cbsnews. Nevertheless Attorney Ambrosio Rodriguez told during a press conference after Tuesday’s hearing in Los Angeles County court that Andressian Sr. had confessed and told detectives where to find the boy’s body.
Prior to entering Tuesday’s guilty plea, Andressian Sr. had previously pleaded not guilty to first degree murder and was being held on $10 million bail.
Andressian Sr’s guilty plea told Rodriguez came in a bid to avoid the death penalty. The defense attorney says the boy’s April 21 death wasn’t planned, while the defense declined to say how or why the boy was killed.
The District Attorney’s office says Andressian’s open plea means a sentence was not negotiated with them.
Rodriguez went on to say that the father acted alone with family members on both sides of the parents, devastated.
While also declining to say how the toddler died, Deputy District Attorney Craig Hum called the evidence overwhelming.
‘This is a tragedy. Cases like this really tug at your heartstrings,’ Hum said outside court.
The confession led to boy’s mother, Ana Estevez being observed loudly weeping in the front row of the courtroom as she held the urn with her son’s ashes.
Divorce documents revealed a bitter custody battle filled with accusations of potential parental abductions, harassment, allegations of molestation, and a request for a domestic violence restraining order.
According to court documents, in April the estranged couple agreed to alternate weeks with the boy, despite the mother’s initial reticence and concerns for their son’s well being.
It was during one of those weeks that Estevez’s son never returned, with the father claiming he had been attacked, while having no memory of the assault, which led to the boy’s alleged disappearance. Investigators said the father police he had taken some prescription medication that morning before falling unconscious, CNN reported.
While initially arrested in suspicion of being involved in his son’s disappearance, the father was later released for lack of evidence, reported CBS Los Angeles.He was re-arrested June 23 in Las Vegas, where he had spent the 47 days prior ‘socializing,’ officials said. Officials have also said he changed his appearance and may have been preparing to flee the country.
The boy’s body was found on June 30 near Lake Cachuma outside Santa Barbara – about 145 miles away from Anaheim, where Disneyland is located.
Andressian told investigators that he drove to the lake the day his son was killed. Investigators had searched the lake several times before the boy’s remains were discovered but have not said what led them to the body.
Andressian Sr faces a mandatory sentence of 25 years to life in prison upon sentencing Aug. 23.