Man pleads not guilty to shooting woman, dumping body on 210 Freeway

LOS ANGELES — A 27-year-old Tujunga man accused of fatally shooting his cousin and dumping her body on the Foothill (210) Freeway pleaded not guilty Thursday.

Appearing in a downtown Los Angeles County Superior Court in a wheelchair with what appeared to be an injured left eye, Aram Sarukhanyan pleaded not guilty to shooting and killing his cousin, Adrine Arzumanyan, on April 29 in a vehicle on the Foothill (210) freeway.

Superior Court Judge Upinder Kalra ordered bail to be set for Sarukhanyan at slightly more than $2 million.

Sarukhanyan’s arraignment had been delayed for about a month because he was hospitalized in a Los Angeles County jail medical ward with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his chin.

“He’s doing OK,” said Sarukhanyan’s attorney, Daniel Behesnilian.

His family attended the short hearing but declined to comment on the case.

Sarukhanyan was charged with one count of murder and another felony count of brandishing a firearm at a civilian who attempted to stop him after he dumped her body at the La Crescenta Avenue offramp, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

Officials said Arzumanyan — a married mother of a 6-month-old boy — was shot at least once in the upper body before being pushed out from the car.

Sarukhanyan was arrested after he was released from Huntington Memorial Hospital, where he was taken for treatment of the gunshot wound after he was confronted by police.

Friends and family have said that Arzumanyan helped manage a Glendale adult day care center.

Shortly after her death, Arzumanyan’s coworkers said that she had offered to talk to Sarukhanyan, who was struggling with some emotional issues.

Arzumanyan was working on master's degrees in social work at Cal State Northridge, officials said.

Fellow students collected $2,271 for a college fund for her son, Narek, according to the fund’s website.

One contributor on the website said “Adrine left a part of herself in this world through beautiful baby Narek.”


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