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LIC resident pleads to girlfriend’s slay

Tigran Tambiev (inset) pleaded guilty to killing his girlfriend, Susan Woolf, Dec. 11, 2009. A picture shows police tape around the crime scene. Inset courtesy NYPD
TimesLedger Newspapers

A 46-year-old Long Island City man admitted earlier this month to a 2009 murder in which he fatally stabbed his artist girlfriend multiple times in their apartment before fleeing to Miami Beach, Fla., the Queens district attorney’s office said.

Tigran Tambiev, of 10th Street and 43rd Road, pleaded guilty to manslaughter Sept. 12 before Queens Supreme Court Justice Gregory Lasak, the DA said. Tambiev had been charged almost three years ago with killing 49-year-old sculptor Susan Woolf, the DA said.

Lasak plans to sentence Tambiev to 20 years in prison, the DA said.

“The defendant stands convicted of a particularly brutal and senseless crime that robbed the victim of her life and the world of a talented sculptor,” District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement. “I hope the family of the victim can find some solace in knowing that the defendant will now spend a substantial amount of time behind bars.”

After his initial arrest, Tambiev had been facing charges of second-degree murder, aggravated criminal contempt and weapon possession that would have put him behind bars for 25 years to life.

Tambiev had killed Woolf, who had a limited order of protection issued against him months earlier, in a domestic dispute Dec. 11, 2009, the DA said. Tambiev stabbed Woolf with two knives multiple times in her back and chest, then fled the apartment after slaying her, the DA said.

Woolf’s body was found Dec. 12 by a friend who was worried about her, the DA said.

After a search, Tambiev was taken into custody the next month in Miami Beach, Fla., the DA said.

On her website maintained before her death, Woolf characterized herself as a “public artist.” Some examples of her work include bronze castings and filling sidewalk cracks with leaves.

“I observe how a place joins or collides with environmental, visual and social patterns,” she wrote. “I make sculptures describing place to accentuate the beauty in every location and build bridges between people and their surroundings.”

Woolf was also on the advisory board of Long Island City Artists, which helps neighborhood creative types find places to work and hosts public art events.

“She’s irreplaceable,” said then-President Chris Vilardi shortly before her death. “She just had a drive and she had an intelligence. No matter what problem was put before us, she could think of a brilliant solution to it. She was really fast on her feet and she knew how to get stuff done.”

Tambiev’s sentencing date is Oct. 17, 2012.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at rhenely@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.

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