SAN FERNANDO (CNS) — A man who was behind the wheel of a Ford Mustang that careened into a crowd of spectators during a Chatsworth street race, killing two people, was sentenced Jan. 4 to 12 years in prison.
Karen Gary Balyan, 43, was also barred from driving for the rest of his life, and the Mustang and the other car involved in the race, a Nissan GT-R, were ordered to be destroyed, Deputy District Attorney Moira Curry said.
“It’s a weapon,” the prosecutor said.
The driver racing against Balyan — Irael Valenzuela, 39 — was given a suspended four-year prison sentence and ordered to serve a year in jail and five years probation.
The 22-year-old owner of the Mustang, Henry Gevorgyan, who was at the scene of the race and was believed to have acted as the starter, was sentenced to one year in jail and three years probation.
Balyan pleaded no contest on Dec. 22 to two counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, a misdemeanor count of assault with a deadly weapon and admitted fleeing the scene of the crash.
Valenzuela and Gevorgyan, who each previously pleaded no contest to two felony counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, were both barred from driving through the term of their probations.
All three men were banned from having any involvement in illegal street racing. The prosecutor said Valenzuela “owns a business that amps these cars up for a living.”
The plea deals were negotiated on the condition that all three men participated.
The crash, which occurred on Feb. 26 in the 21400 block of Plummer Street near Canoga Avenue, killed Eric Siguenza, 26, of Los Angeles, and Wilson Thomas Wong, 50, of
Torrance, and injured another spectator.