Woodland Hills Man Pleads Not Guilty In Machete Attack On Estranged Wife, Her New Boyfriend
VAN NUYS (CBSLA.com) — A Woodland Hills man pleaded not guilty Wednesday in a machete attack on his estranged wife and her new boyfriend, a music industry veteran.
Behnam Vasseghi, 57, remains jailed on $5.1 million bail while awaiting a Nov. 5 hearing.
The hearing will determine if there is enough evidence to require Vasseghi to stand trial.
Vasseghi is facing 15 felony counts — including attempted murder — and one misdemeanor charge stemming from the alleged attack at Jerry Sharell’s Woodland Hills home on September 15.
Sharell and Vasseghi’s estranged wife were allegedly accosted at about 8 a.m. and held against their will at knifepoint for more than five hours.
Police said during the five hours, Vasseghi often interrogated Sharell and cut him on the neck if he didn’t like his answers, according to Los Angeles Police Sgt. Alex Kim said.
Vasseghi allegedly cut Sharell’s throat with a knife and cut off the tip of his estranged wife’s nose before slashing his own wrists.
His ex-wife was eventually able to get away and call police.
Responding officers ordered Vasseghi to come out and drop the machete, and he eventually complied after slitting his wrists, the sergeant said.
The suspect and Sharell were both taken to Northridge Hospital Medical Center. Vasseghi’s estranged wife was treated at Providence Tarzana Medical Center, Kim said.
Vasseghi is charged with one count each of attempted murder, first-degree burglary with a person present, violating a restraining order and stalking, two counts each of aggravated mayhem, torture, making criminal threats and false imprisonment, and four counts of assault with a deadly weapon involving the machete and a knife.
Sharell formerly worked with such acts as the Eagles and the Carpenters. He now hosts a weekly radio show on KJazz titled “Sundays with Sinatra.”
He was hired by David Geffen in the 1970s to manage the Asylum Records label, which later became part of Elektra Records, where he worked with Jackson Browne, Harry Chapin, Carly Simon, The Cars, Queen, Motley Crue and Bread, among other acts.
Sharell later became a vice president at Westwood One radio network, and also chaired The Recording Academy’s MusiCares Foundation.