Courts & Crime

Son gets life without parole for planning father's 2006 killing

SACRAMENTO — In the final chapter of the emotional drama that was Norik Abramyan's killing, a Sacramento Superior Court judge Wednesday sentenced the man's son to life in prison for arranging and paying for the murder in 2006.

The sentence, handed down by Judge James L. Long, allows 22-year-old Vardan Abramyan no possibility for parole.

Other than denying motions for a new trial by the defense, Long offered no comments about the case in the brief sentencing. No victim impact statements were read, and Abramyan made no statement. His sisters wept quietly in the audience.

In August, a jury convicted Abramyan of first-degree murder with special circumstances that he planned his father's murder for financial gain and that he lay in wait. A life sentence without possibility for parole was expected because of the special circumstances.

Abramyan testified that he felt he had to have his father killed or his father might kill him, his mother or his sisters. He described his father as abusive — physically, financially and psychologically — and said his family had been terrorized by his father for many years.

He paid $4,000 to Isaiah Dupree Barron to arrange the murder, and Barron in turn paid $500 each to Arthur James Battle and Jason Dillingham to carry it out. The men shot the 45-year-old man on July 30, 2006, in the parking lot of the Hollywood Video on Watt Avenue.

The younger Abramyan brought his father to the video store under the guise of renting a movie. While in the bathroom, he called the hired guns and told them of his father's whereabouts. He testified later that he could not bear to watch the shooting.

Baron, Battle and Dillingham all have been sentenced to life imprisonment for their roles in the murder plot.