Alberd Tersargyan

Alberd Tersargyan

LOS ANGELES -- A 73-year-old man has pleaded not guilty in the murder of a Hollywood woman whose death may be connected to the 2008 slayings of her husband and daughter.

Alberd Tersargyan is charged with shooting 38-year-old Karine Hakobyan, whose body was found by her 15-year-old daughter March 26 in a carport at her apartment complex. The same daughter found her father and sister shot to death two years earlier, according to police.

Tersargyan was arraigned in downtown Los Angeles Monday on a capital murder charge with the special circumstance of lying in wait. Prosecutors will decide later whether to seek the death penalty if Tersargyan is convicted, the district attorney's office said.

Tersargyan is due back in court June 8, when a date will be set for a preliminary hearing. He was being held without bail.

Tersargyan is also being investigated in the murders of Hakobyan's husband and daughter 2 years earlier.

In December 2008, a gunman burst into a Hollywood apartment in the 1200 block of Tamarind Ave. and fatally shot Khachik Safaryan, 38, and his 9-year-old daughter, Lucine.

Shortly after those killings, Karine Hakobyan and her surviving daughter moved in with her in-laws in an apartment complex on Lexington Ave.

Eighteen months later, Karine was found slumped in her car with a gunshot wound to the back of the head, blocks away from the first crime scene.

The vehicle was parked in a fenced, gated area in the 5800 block of Lexington Avenue, according to police.

A family friend, who did not want to be identified for fear of his life, spoke exclusively to KTLA, and said the family is being gunned down because of a love triangle.

He spoke of an alleged affair between Safaryan, who was a supermarket clerk in Hollywood, and his former girlfriend in Armenia, who was a married woman.

That alleged mistress is now a multi-millionaire who lives in Los Angeles, according to the family friend.

That friend also provided exclusively to KTLA a year-old letter written but never sent to President Obama by the surviving daughter.

One excerpt reads: "December 11, 2008 was an ordinary day for a lot of people. Unfortunately, this day was tragic. My father and Lucine were brutally murdered in our apartment. Our family is falling apart now."

She ends her letter to the president by saying, "I am hoping that you, Mr. president, will find time to put pressure on the above institutions to solve the hideous murders of my beloved sister and father."

Police say they are investigating a possible link between the murders.

"We're working on a theory that was developed in the previous homicides," said police Detective Dan Myers.

Hakobyan and Safaryan married in Armenia and moved to the U.S. in 2003.

Safaryan worked as a butcher in Hollywood, and his wife worked as a patient-care service aide at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

Police have said they have no evidence the victims were involved in criminal activities in Armenia or the U.S.