A state appeals court panel Tuesday upheld a San Fernando Valley man’s conviction on attempted murder and other counts for throwing an incendiary device into an ex-girlfriend’s apartment in Glendale.
The three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal found “credible, substantial evidence” to support Gagik Akopyan’s conviction, noting that the Sunland man’s DNA was found on the cap to a plastic gasoline can that had been used to set the April 19, 2015, fire.
The appellate court justices also noted that gasoline was found on the passenger-side floor mat of Akopyan’s “otherwise exceptionally clean” silver Mercedes-Benz, and that surveillance video recovered from a business near the victim’s home showed a light-colored car resembling the Mercedes racing away within minutes after the attack.
According to the panel’s 33-page ruling, Akopyan’s harassment of his ex-girlfriend, his threatening conduct and his numerous text messages demonstrated an unwillingness to accept the end of the relationship.
Akopyan was convicted in May 2018 of one count each of attempted murder, arson of an inhabited structure, injuring a girlfriend and stalking. Jurors also found that he used a device designed to accelerate the fire. Jurors subsequently found that he was sane at the time of the crimes.
Akopyan broke a window in his ex-girlfriend’s apartment, removed a board she had placed there for her protection and threw a device inside that caused an explosion and the fire, Deputy District Attorney Melanie Drew said. Akopyan had punched the woman earlier the same month, according to the prosecutor.
He was sentenced last year to 41 years and four months to life in state prison.
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