Hrant Meguerian took a long look at his family as he walked into a courtroom in Van Nuys on Tuesday.
His adult children no longer had a mother, and now they were losing their father for a very long time.
Meguerian was sentenced to 23 years and 4 months in state prison for the shooting death of his ex-wife and the attempted murder of her boyfriend.
Shortly before his sentencing, Meguerian's daughter addressed the court, saying she remains bewildered by her father's actions.
"It would help us a lot for my father to tell us what happened that night," she said. "I don't feel that my father has a right to … take away my mother's life."
Last December, Meguerian, 60, shot his ex-wife, Azniv Meguerian, and her 49-year-old boyfriend, Michael Carver, following a dispute in the Tarzana home they all shared, according to court documents.
The Meguerians had been divorced for 17 years, but Hrant Meguerian had recently returned to live at the family home. Azniv Meguerian, 51, had been in an on-and-off relationship with Carver, who at the time of the incident was living in the house as payment for money that she owed him, a prosecutor said.
On the night of the shooting, Hrant Meguerian had gone drinking with his son, according to court records. Later, at the dinner table, he got into an argument with Carver. Following the dispute, Carver left to go eat in Azniv Meguerian's room, court documents state.
As Azniv Meguerian was taking Carver food, Hrant Meguerian pulled out a gun and shot his ex-wife three times, prosecutors said. He then shot Carver.
Meguerian avoided a trial, pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter and attempted murder.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Joseph A. Brandolino called the case a tragic one that affected many people.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Rena Durrant said the case was difficult for Meguerian's family members in part because they don't know why he did what he did.
Nonetheless, Durrant said, the sentence "serves the interest of justice, brings closure to the family for the pain he caused to the family and the acts he committed."
Thomas McLarnon, Hrant Meguerian's attorney, said his client pleaded guilty because he did not want to put his family through any more suffering.
"This was not an easy case for anybody," McLarnon said. "Not an easy case for the family, not an easy case for the victims, and not an easy case for Mr. Meguerian."