PASADENA — Jurors on Tuesday began deliberating the fate of two men accused of killing a 49-year-old Burbank woman after she answered her front door.
Arpiar Terrgalstanyan of Glendale and Armen Mangasaryan of Burbank are charged in the Feb. 25, 2009, death of Jasmine Voskanian, who died after answering her front door and being shot once in the head.
Mangasaryan was the alleged shooter, and Terrgalstanyan was the getaway driver, officials said.
Voskanian had reportedly owed Bella Stepanyan, 26, of Burbank, a large amount of money, police said.
"For owing a debt, on Feb. 25, 2009, Jasmine Voskanian got the death penalty," Deputy Dist. Atty. Russell Moore said.
Stepanyan was later arrested and convicted of being an accessory after the fact.
She was sentenced to serve 360 days in a Los Angeles County jail and serve three years' probation.
Attorneys representing both sides on Tuesday asked jurors to consider the facts in the more than two-week-long case.
Moore wrapped up his closing arguments by advising jurors to recall Terrgalstanyan's arrest and to consider evidence regarding tire markings found at the scene of Voskanian's home in the 4200 block of Jacaranda Avenue.
Tire markings found at the crime scene didn't match those that would have typically been left by Terrgalstanyan's Mercedes Benz.
Just before Terrgalstanyan was arrested, Moore told jurors that he was likely trying to dispose of a car trunk full of weapons.
Ammunition matching the same caliber used to kill Voskanian was found inside Terrgalstanyan's car, authorities said.
Police arrested Terrgalstanyan at his Glendale home and placed him in the backseat of a police car, where he reportedly said, "I am easily going to get 45 for this," Moore told jurors.
Moore had expert witnesses attest to cell-phone records during the trial to prove that Terrgalstanyan and Mangasaryan were working together to kill Voskanian.
But Terrgalstanyan's attorney, Donald Levinson, and Mangasaryan's attorney, Michael Levin, argued that Moore's case was based on circumstantial evidence.
"The [district attorney] has not proven anything," Levinson said, casting doubt on the tire markings that played a prominent role in the trial.
"If the tire doesn't fit, I want you to acquit," he said, playing off Johnny Cochran's famed line in the O.J. Simpson murder trial.
Levin argued that Voskanian's boyfriend — who provided a partial description of the shooter's clothing, height and hairstyle — didn't see Mangasaryan at the crime scene because his client didn't exactly fit the description..
"There are a lot of things that don't fit," he said.