Killing of John Michael King-Smith by Sparkle Soojian and Jared Kasiewicz investigated on Death By Fame

Mugshot of Sparkle Soojian
Sparkle Soojian pleaded guilty to killing John Michael King-Smith by involuntary manslaughter. Pic credit: Glendale Police Department

Death By Fame is examining the killing of John Michael King-Smith by Jared Kasiewicz and Sparkle Soojian in an apartment in Glendale, California.

On September 10, 2015, 31-year-old music producer John Michael King-Smith went to the apartment of Soojian, a self-described heiress to an Armenian cracker manufacturer. Courtney Argue, an aspiring pop singer, was also at the apartment that night.

King-Smith was the ex-boyfriend of Soojian’s former roommate, and Soojian had accused him of stalking her and had taken out a restraining order against him. King-Smith allegedly began arguing with the occupants of the apartment.

Soojian texted her then-boyfriend, former marine Kasiewicz, asking him for help as King-Smith would not leave. Kasiewicz reportedly burst into the apartment and grabbed King-Smith in a chokehold.

Kasiewicz asked the others for a rope, and he tied his victim’s feet to his wrists. Kasiewicz then left the scene, telling the others not to mention that he had been there.

Soojian called the police, claiming there was a robbery and that her neighbors had tied up King-Smith.

The cops realized King-Smith was in medical distress and sent him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He died of asphyxia and a compressed neck.

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Jared Kasiewicz and Sparkle Soojian charged with John Michael King-Smith murder

The police ended up arresting Kasiewicz, Soojian, and Argue and charged all three with suspected murder. Argue was subsequently released.

Mugshot of Jared Kasiewicz
Jared Kasiewicz confessed to his role in the death of John Michael King-Smith. Pic credit: Glendale Police Department

Soojian’s friend Ernest Johnson had briefly been at the apartment on the night King-Smith was killed. Johnson said he received a text from Soojian asking him for help, followed shortly by a second text, reading, “I want you to kill him. I’m serious. We need to get rid of the body.” Although he claimed he didn’t think she was serious.

Johnson testified that on his arrival at the apartment, he was accosted by King-Smith with a tennis racket and that he punched him in the face. He said he left as soon as Kasiewicz arrived.

Soojian and Kasiewicz in court battle over whether they meant to kill John Michael King-Smith

Soojian and Kasiewicz’s defense teams argued that they never meant for King-Smith to die, but the prosecution claimed it had been a planned murder.

Eventually, in 2017, Soojian pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and was given a three-year sentence. Kasiewicz pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter but also received just three years.

Death by Fame airs at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.

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