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Russian Immigrant Sentenced To 7-Years In Prison For Beating Elderly Antioch Man To Death

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ANTIOCH (CBS SF) — A 22-year-old Russian immigrant who prosecutors said used a vase to beat an elderly man to death in his Antioch home was sentenced in a Martinez courtroom Tuesday to seven years in prison.

Ruslan Yaroslavovich Bazelyan, 22, received the sentence in Contra Costa County Superior Court this morning after pleading no contest to voluntary manslaughter and elder abuse causing great bodily injury or death for the killing of 71-year-old Ronald Rush in June 2013.

The sentence stemmed from a plea agreement reached with the district attorney’s office, which agreed to dismiss charges of murder and robbery.

Tuesday morning Bazelyan wore a yellow county jail jumpsuit and spoke to his attorney, Deputy Public Defender Diana Garrido, from behind a courtroom partition.

None of the victim’s family members were present at the hearing.

Bazelyan has been in custody since his arrest in July 2013 when U.S. marshals assisted in capturing him near Vancouver, Washington, where he fled after fatally beating Rush and stealing his BMW, according to authorities.

Prosecutors said Rush had hired the defendant to do yard work at his house in the 4400 block of Horseshoe Circle and that Bazelyan was living at the older man’s home at the time of the killing.

Sometime between June 10 and June 11, the defendant used a vase to beat Rush to death, then made off with the victim’s car and cellphone, according to prosecutors.

Bazelyan is a Russian citizen who came to the U.S. in 2003 as a refugee from Ukraine, according to police.

© Copyright 2014 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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