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Killer boyfriend of LIC artist receives 20 yrs. in prison: DA

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 was sentenced to 20 years in prison last week for fatally stabbing his girlfriend, a prominent neighborhood artist, the Queens district attorney’s office said.

Tigran Tambiev, formerly of 10th Street and 43rd Road, had pleaded guilty to the December 2009 crime last month, DA Richard Brown said. His victim was Susan Woolf, 49, who did sculpture and was part of a Long Island City group to promote artists.

“The lengthy sentence imposed by the court ensures that the defendant is appropriately punished for the 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.

Tambiev killed Woolf Dec. 11, 2009, stabbing her in the back and in the chest with two knives, during a domestic dispute in the apartment they shared, the DA said. Her body was not found until the next day by a friend who was worried about her, the DA said.

Woolf had obtained a limited order of protection against Tambiev months before her death.

After a search, authorities took Tambiev into custody in January 2010 when they found the killer in Miami Beach, Fla., the DA said.

Tambiev faced charges of second-degree murder, aggravated criminal contempt and weapon possession, which would have given him a prison sentence of 25 years to life. He made a guilty plea to first-degree manslaughter Sept. 12 before Queens Supreme Court Justice Gregory Lasak, the DA said.

Lasak sentenced him to 20 years in prison and five years of post-release supervision Oct. 17.

Woolf sat on the advisory board of Long Island City Artists, an organization dedicated to finding venues for local creative types and holding events to showcase public art.

On her website, which she maintained before she died, Woolf called herself a “public artist.” Some pieces of art she showcased included bronze castings and sidewalk cracks filled 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.”

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at rhenely@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-250-4564.

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