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Man Kills Wife with Garden Rake, Regrets What He Did

Resident of Mayisyan village in Armavir marz (province) Grisha Martirosyan on the night of February 15 killed his wife, Jenya Harutyunyan, by repeatedly striking her with a garden rake then hitting her over the head with an iron rod, according to a report [AM] by journalist Nelly Babayan of the Rapid Response Team established by Society Without Violence NGO. 

Martirosyan's neighbors, in conversation with the journalist, gave a positive description of the man, all saying the same thing: "He was a golden boy. What a pity. He was an exceptionally good man."

The same neighbors, however, expressed negative views about Harutyunyan. According to the journalist, the opinions were negative because Jenya didn't fit the image of a homemaker or an Armenian woman who follows Armenian traditions.

"43-year-old Jenya had a love of alcohol, so to speak; sometimes she drank together with her husband. Perhaps she wasn't a 'housewife' and didn't know how to prepare different dishes, or, say, she didn't keep the small wagon-house, as the neighbors describe it, clean and tidy. But was it necessary to brutally kill his wife for such behavior? 'Well, we don't know; in any case, [we] feel sorry for Grisha — he was a golden boy. Jenya didn't properly take care of that poor guy'," writes Babayan, citing the neighbors' remarks. 

"Well, [if] you’re wife wasn’t good, she was a drinker, what-have-you, [you should’ve] taken her by her arms and thrown her out, gotten a divorce — why did you kill her like an animal? She wasn't a chicken, for you to break her neck and throw her aside," Jenya's sister, Janna Harutyunyan, told the journalist. 

The incident occurred in the yard of the wagon-house where the spouses lived. After killing his wife, Grisha brought her body inside, laid it on the bed, "and he quietly went to sleep," reports Babayan. 

Head of the investigation group dealing with the case, investigator Spartak Poghosyan says only in the morning, when Grisha discovered his wife wasn't breathing, did he call his sister-in-law and one of the neighbors, who urged him to turn himself in to the police and to call an ambulance. 

According to the investigator, on the day of the murder, both Grisha and Jenya had consumed alcohol — at the funeral of Jenya's other sister in Charentsavan. 

The couple left Charentsavan and came to the village of Aratashen, Jenya's sister's house. Grisha left Jenya at her sister's house and again returned to Charentsavan. Jenya began to suspect her husband was going to see a mistress, then, perhaps out of jealousy, Jenya, who promised Grisha she would "obediently wait for his return," called her mother-in-law and informed her she is getting ready to go to Charentsavan, to go after her husband.

"The mother then called Grisha and said your wife is coming. Enraged, Grisha came back to our home, asking where is Jenya. I asked, what happened; he said, I'm taking her. In the morning you can come for her corpse. I swear on my grandchildren, that's exactly what he said. When leaving our house, he made Jenya swear on her son Hayk that she won't go after him to Charentsavan. My sister swore too. But then she began to think that he's going to Charentsavan with the taxi driver to see a girl. And, indeed, we had heard that a girl from Yerevan had come to Charentsavan and that driver was going to go to her, and Grisha was with him, so she got jealous and decided to go after Grisha. 

"Grisha, who returned enraged, told my sister but you swore on my holiness, on Hayk. That was the reason why he so brutally killed Jenya, smashing her head. He split Jenya's head with that huge, half-meter electrician's tool, then hit her so hard on the street that he pierced her heart, lung, and the other organs — no organs were left [whole]," said Janna.  

The neighbors praised Grisha because, according to Janna, he was the village electrician and helped everyone at any moment. 

The neighbors didn't pay their electricity bill for months at a time and Grisha didn't insist, while Jenya did the opposite — she urged neighbors who didn't pay the bill to transfer the money soon. "That's why they praised Grisha and belittled by sister," she said. 

Grisha's employer also praised him, describing him as a good employee. "He was a good and scrupulous employee. He went above the call of duty."

If convicted, Grisha Martirosyan faced 8–15 years in prison. The preliminary investigation is completed, and the case has been sent to court. The investigator said Grisha fully admitted his guilt and feels remorse.