As Americans await the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions on same-sex marriage, Obamacare, Arizona’s challenge to the so-called “independent” congressional redistricting commission and other issues under consideration, Valley residents can ponder the odd sentence handed down closer to home last week by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Joseph Welty.
Vrouyr Manoukian, a cocky 24-year old who reportedly entered the courtroom smiling and waving at his family, killed his roommate Matthew McMaster, 24, in July 2013. According to this news report, McMaster died of blunt-force trauma to his head. His body was set on fire and dumped in the desert.
Manoukian was convicted of negligent homicide and abandonment of a body. While awaiting trial, he was jailed for 740 days. That time will count toward his paltry 4 ½ year sentence —- giving him roughly 2 ½ more years in prison.
Judge Welty determined the aggravating factors in the case were the harm done to McMaster’s family, the fact that another roommate, Randall Lee Young, acted as an accomplice, and the evidence that McMaster’s body was dumped and burned beyond recognition. Young, who has an extensive criminal history, was charged with a probation-only offense.
The mitigating factors? Manoukian’s lack of criminal history, his “sniffling” display of remorse, and his acceptance of responsibility for his actions.
Welty was appointed to the bench in 2007 by Gov. Janet Napolitano.