Man sentenced to life in prison without parole for 2016 murder of Huntington Beach ex-girlfriend

Jason Becher, 46, was sentenced to life in prison Friday for the 2016 death of his ex-girlfriend Marylou Sarkissian.
(Courtesy of Huntington Beach Police Department)

An Anaheim man was sentenced Friday to the maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole, for the 2016 murder of his ex-girlfriend Marylou Sarkissian in Huntington Beach.

Jason Becher, 46, was sentenced in Orange County Superior Court by Judge Sheila Hanson. A jury had taken about four hours to convict him of Sarkissian’s murder on May 13, with the special circumstance of lying in wait.

Becher’s public defender, Irene Pai, filed a notice of appeal.

Becher had a history of domestic abuse before the death of Sarkissian, who was 50, on Dec. 2, 2016 at her home on Litchfield Drive. Sarkissian, a single mother with three children, had filed for a restraining order against him in July 2016. She installed a security system at her house the night before she died.

“When I look at this case, it is apparent to the court that for a very long time, you have terrorized and inflicted violence on women who you were in a domestic relationship with,” Hanson said in addressing Becher, noting that he had pleaded guilty to felony counts of inflicting corporal injury in both 2001 and 2005.

Hanson added that Becher had not shown any remorse during the trial, and appeared to be laughing after the sentencing. She noted that security camera video from inside the house after Sarkissian’s death showed Becher saying, “So you got a new surveillance system; how’d that work out for you?”

“The court is mindful that when you left your home that night, the evidence demonstrates you had a well-thought out plan to terrorize Marylou that night and to take her life,” Hanson said. “You dressed appropriately, you took the necessary crowbar and you waited outside of her home for the opportunity to attack. Not only did you attack, but you did so in a sustained, brutal and savage manner.”

Hanson also ordered Becher to pay $7,500 for Sarkissian’s funeral and burial expenses.

Becher elected not to address the court prior to his sentencing, but Sarkissian’s sister Debbie Zdrazil did. Like her sister, Zdrazil filed a restraining order against Becher in the summer of 2016.

Marylou Sarkissian, third from left, is pictured with her three children before her death in 2016.
(Courtesy of Debra Zdrazil )

“My sister’s death has broken my family,” she said. “I will not publicly go into those details, because if I convey publicly to the court and on the internet how this has affected my family’s lives, it will only give this evil monster pleasure and satisfaction in seeing me suffer. Jason Becher ... will never have remorse for killing my sister Marylou or have any ability of empathizing, so why should I waste my words on him or express my vulnerabilities to the court?”

She said that Sarkissian’s two younger children, twins Isabel and Ian, graduated from high school on Thursday and Friday was their 18th birthday.

“We will always miss [Sarkissian], especially on these major milestone days that she misses,” Zdrazil said.

Zdrazil said the family elected not to seek the death penalty, because “death is too easy and we want him to suffer the rest of his long life in prison.”

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