The man accused of brutally murdering a Glendale resident earlier this year did so because the victim was gay, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said Wednesday.
Hachik Maskovian, 28, was arrested April 26, two days after the body of Joshua West was found beaten and with multiple gunshot wounds on a street in Sun Valley.
Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office, said Wednesday that West, 33, was killed because he was gay, prompting the hate crime allegation.
Maskovian, who has already been charged with murder, is being held without bail. He is also charged with the special circumstance that he allegedly kidnapped West to commit a murder, Robison added.
The special circumstance charge would make Maskovian eligible for the death penalty, Robison said, should prosecutors decide to pursue it.
West’s sister, Erica Gamble, who resides in North Carolina, called the situation “very sad and heartbreaking.”
According to Gamble, Maskovian was somehow related to or knew West’s estranged boyfriend of seven years.
Investigators have released few details surrounding the April 24 death of West, who in addition to the gunshot wounds, was apparently run over by a vehicle in the 10200 block of Penrose Street.
That night, Maskovian reportedly arrived in a tow truck to help West possibly retrieve a cellphone, officials said. He then allegedly started beating West, placed him in the tow truck and drove off.
Soon after, officers received reports at 10 p.m. about possible gunshots in the 10700 block of Vinedale Street, where they discovered blood and other evidence. While at the scene, officers received another call regarding multiple gunshots on Penrose Street.
They arrived at that scene to find West’s body, riddled with bullet wounds, lying in the roadway. Witnesses reportedly saw Maskovian dumping West on the roadway, officials said.
According to his sister, West was “super sweet,” happy and driven, having moved from his native North Carolina to Hollywood in the hopes of breaking into acting.
“He followed his dreams,” she said. “He lived a good life.”