Photo via Pixabay
Photo via Pixabay

A Van Nuys man with two prior DUI convictions was ordered to spend 30 years to life in state prison for a DUI crash that killed a married couple in Arleta.

Arsen Panasian, who was sentenced Wednesday, has been behind bars since the June 20, 2015, crash, that killed Alfred Chacon, 62, and his wife, Alma.

Panasian, 43, drove through a red light at the intersection of Branford Street and Dorrington Place and crashed his Chevrolet Astro van into the couple’s Toyota Camry as they were heading home from a birthday party. The victims were pronounced dead at the scene.

Panasian had a blood-alcohol content of 0.23 percent — nearly three times the legal limit considered impaired — at the time of the crash, according to evidence presented at his trial.

He was convicted Dec. 19 of two counts each of second-degree murder and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

Panasian had been convicted twice before — in 2001 and 2006 — of misdemeanor driving with a 0.08 percent or higher blood alcohol content, according to Deputy District Attorney Kaveh Faturechi.

— City News Service

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