PASADENA – The mother of a man accused of killing his grandmother – her mother – in an arson at the family’s Glendale home testified Monday that her son was carrying a gasoline container hours before the fire and got into a car and drove off after smoke detectors sounded. Investigators found a red gas container in the bathroom across the hall from the room where Arpine Demerjian, 92, had been sleeping the night of the fire. She died in the blaze at the family’s Wonderview Drive home in the early hours of March 1, 2005. Armine Kacharian told the Pasadena court – where her 38-year-old son Antranik Khajarian is on trial for murder – that she loves him and that testifying in the case is difficult. Her son had a sixth-grade education and a history of mental illness, said Kacharian, who spells her name differently than her son. Khajarian had been gone for more than three days when he showed up in the family’s kitchen Feb. 28, hours before the fire, she said. Kacharian testified that her son was not acting normal and that he walked out of the house to his car and put gas into it from a red container. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card “I told him, ‘Why are you not taking gas from the gas station?’ and he left,” Kacharian said. Speaking in Armenian and through an interpreter, Kacharian said that later that night she tucked in her mother, who was sick, and went to bed. Kacharian was awakened by the smoke alarm in the middle of the night and looked out the window to see Khajarian get in his car and drive off, she said. Glendale police Officer Patrick Hamblin arrived at the home before firefighters at about 3 a.m. on March 1. Hamblin and Kevork Kacharian, Khajarian’s brother, approached the burning room from a back patio. Kevork Kacharian broke through the room’s sliding glass door to try to get to his grandmother. But there was too much smoke and heat coming from the room to get in, Hamblin said. Firefighters arrived within minutes and extinguished the blaze, and found Demerjian’s body inside. Kacharian testified that her son, whom she called Anton, had been seeing a psychiatrist in Syria before the family immigrated to the United States. On a Sunday weeks before the fire, Khajarian showed up at the family’s home in a taxi and said he had lost his car, Kacharian said. He then started putting furniture out in the street, called 911 for his grandmother and told the Fire Department paramedics that she was sick. “But one of them told Anton, ‘You are sick.’ And I told Anton to go with them. I told him, ‘You are sick,”‘ Kacharian said, breaking down into tears. Khajarian is charged with murder, two counts of arson and possession of flammable material. He was detained by Border Patrol agents March 2 as he tried to return to the United States from Mexico, and he was later taken to jail. Alex Dobuzinskis, (818) 546-3304 firstname.lastname@example.org 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!