Prosecutors: Glendale man planned murder of ex-boyfriend to collect insurance money

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

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

The three men were charged with one count each of murder and attempted kidnapping, according to the Los Angeles County 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 trio appeared Monday afternoon in a Los Angeles County Superior Courtroom in San Fernando, but their arraignment was continued to Sept. 11. They remained in custody without bail.

Prosecutors had originally charged Hachik Maskovian, 29, with West’s murder, 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. 

The pair 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 murder 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 Street. That's where they found West's body dumped in the roadway.


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


Driver can be tried for manslaughter in crash that caused two deaths

Battle between attorneys over Armenian genocide compensation fund is settled

Two charged in Glendale drug bust

Copyright © 2019, Glendale News-Press
EDITION: California | U.S. & World