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Man Gets 59 Years to Life for Murdering Wife's Boss

Crime: The jobless accordion player erroneously thought she was having an affair.

March 13, 2001|CAITLIN LIU | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A North Hills man was sentenced to 59 years to life Monday for murdering his wife's boss and assaulting her and another co-worker at a Burbank company.

Stephen Kopy, 65, an unemployed accordion player, erroneously believed that his wife, Martha, was having an affair with 63-year-old Andrew John Camarata, for whom she worked as an executive secretary.

On June 12, Kopy went to Aramark Uniform Services and asked for his wife. Martha Kopy came to the waiting area, where her husband told her he had a gun.

The couple wrestled over the gun, and when another employee exited through a door accessible only with an employee identification card, the gunman darted inside.

He jogged through the office, asking for Camarata. When Kopy found the La Crescenta man in his office, he shot him in the chest and head, authorities said.

A Pasadena jury convicted Kopy last month of first-degree murder and of assault for pointing a gun at his wife and another Aramark employee.

During a hearing Monday before Pasadena Superior Court Judge Teri Schwartz, Camarata's mother and sister spoke about the man they called a wonderful son and father, and asked for the maximum punishment, which the judge imposed, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Jeffrey Jonas.

Kopy also spoke but showed no remorse, according to people in court.

"He's got the worst case of feel-sorry-for-me-itis I've ever seen," Jonas said. "The alleged affair . . . never happened. Mr. Kopy was using it as a poor excuse for his wife having the audacity to want to divorce him."

Jonas called Kopy "a miserable, wretched human being who hasn't been employed for 20 years."

"He basically lived off his wife and sat in front of the TV most of the time, pontificating about what's wrong with his life and his wife," Jonas said. "Instead of blaming himself, he blamed everybody else."

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