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Woman Stabbed to Death With Kitchen Knife : Man Convicted in Wife's Murder

June 22, 1989|ESTHER SCHRADER | Times Staff Writer

A Glendale man on trial in the stabbing death of his wife was convicted of second-degree murder this week by a Pasadena Superior Court judge.

Haro Agakian, 40, was found guilty of stabbing his wife, Judy Agakian, 37, with a kitchen knife in the master bedroom of their apartment in the 300 block of North Isabel Street on March 16, 1988.

Judge Terry Smerling heard the case after Agakian waived his right to a jury trial.

The prosecution and defense agreed that Agakian stabbed his wife after a bitter argument. But at issue in the much-delayed, five-week trial was whether the killing was premeditated. Deputy Dist. Atty. Donna L. Wills had asked the judge for a first-degree murder conviction, arguing that the killing was planned. Defense attorney Bradley W. Brunon had argued for a verdict of voluntary manslaughter.

Defendant's Wounds

Wills sought to prove that Agakian brought two serrated kitchen knives to the third-floor bedroom with the intention of killing his wife and then himself. Agakian suffered six superficial stab wounds to his chest.

Wills argued at the trial that Agakian killed his wife in anger over their pending divorce. Wills said Agakian had discovered in February that Judy Agakian was having an affair. They filed for divorce but continued sharing the apartment, sleeping in separate bedrooms. Wills said Agakian was distressed that she was looking forward to the divorce.

Despite the defense stipulation that Agakian had stabbed his wife, Agakian testified that he does not remember the events of that night and whether he did so was "anybody's guess."

Brunon said that his client's chest wounds were inflicted by Judy Agakian and that Agakian then "lost control and in a fit of anger stabbed his wife to death."

In returning the second-degree murder verdict, Smerling said he was convinced that the killing was murder rather than manslaughter but he remained unconvinced that Agakian had planned his wife's death.

Agakian is being held in Los Angeles County Jail. A sentencing hearing is scheduled July 28. He faces a maximum sentence of 16 years to life in prison.

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