Man killed ex-boyfriend to collect insurance money, prosecutors say

A 34-year-old Glendale man who prosecutors say planned the brutal killing of his estranged boyfriend to collect his life insurance policy was charged in court Monday with murder and attempted kidnapping.

Los Angeles County prosecutors allege that Hovanes “John” Maskovian -- along with his brother, Hachik “Kriss” Maskovian, 29, and a third defendant, Nazaret “Nick” Bayamdzhyan, 19 -- planned the slaying of his ex-boyfriend, Joshua West, who was beaten, shot, run over and left for dead April 24 in the 10200 block of Penrose Street, the Glendale News-Press reported.

The three were charged with one count each of murder and attempted kidnapping, according to the district attorney’s office. The murder charge carries the special circumstances of lying in wait, murder for financial gain and murder committed during an attempted kidnapping.


The three appeared Monday afternoon in L.A. County Superior Court in San Fernando, but their arraignment was continued to Sept. 11. They remained in custody without bail.

Prosecutors had originally charged Hachik Maskovian with West’s killing, including the special circumstance that he allegedly kidnapped West and killed him because he was gay.

But the district attorney’s office has since amended the complaint and dropped the hate crime allegation.

Los Angeles police arrested the older brother, Hovanes Maskovian, and Bayamdzhyan on Thursday in Sun Valley.

Hovanes Maskovian had reportedly dated West, 33, for about seven years, according to West’s sister. But after they broke up in December, they continued to live together in their Glendale apartment out of convenience, said West’s father, Joseph DeRobbio. They apparently slept in separate bedrooms.

DeRobbio said that Hovanes Maskovian called days after his son’s death and was “extremely” distraught.

Few details on West’s slaying have been released, but police said they received reports at 10 p.m. April 24 about possible gunshots in the 10700 block of Vinedale Street.

As they were investigating the first scene, police said officers received another call regarding multiple gunshots on Penrose, where they found West’s body dumped on the road.


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Follow Veronica Rocha on Google+ and on Twitter: @VeronicaRochaLA.

Rocha writes for Times Community News.