Immigrant Sentenced To 45 Years In Slaying Andrei Goumnov Apologized To The Family Of The Victim, Who Died In 1998. He Faces Charges In Two Other Break-ins.

Posted: June 17, 2000

BRIDGETON, N.J. — With family members of the victim and the defendant sobbing in the small, third floor courtroom, a Superior Court judge yesterday sentenced Russian emigre Andrei Goumnov to 45 years in prison for aggravated manslaughter and related charges in the 1998 strangulation death of Gloria Jean Baglio.

"I am sorry I caused this pain and suffering," Goumnov, 25, told Judge Rushton Ridgway during the brief sentencing hearing to formalize a plea agreement he signed two months ago. "I wish I could take it back."

Baglio, 53, of the Rosenhayn section of Deerfield Township, was killed during a burglary in which cash, jewelry and other valuables were stolen.

Goumnov, who came to the United States in 1996 on a visitor visa, has been charged in two other home break-ins, including a 1997 burglary in Atlantic County in which one man was shot and killed and another wounded.

"Anyone who got in his way, he killed," Cumberland County Prosecutor Arthur Marchand said at a news conference after the hearing yesterday.

Earlier, Pam Baglio, 30, the victim's daughter, told Ridgway that while the 45-year prison sentence "will not bring back our mother . . . We can only hope that while in prison he [Goumnov] will suffer the way we have suffered."

Baglio, speaking on behalf of her sister, Donna Mitchell; her brother, Charles; and other family members who crowded into the first row of the courtroom, said that when Goumnov broke into her mother's home March 18, 1998, "he was looking for things of value."

And on that day, she said between sobs, "he found and took the one thing that was priceless. The life of our mother."

A portrait of the victim commissioned by the family was mounted on an easel in the courtroom during the hearing.

Following his arrest in April 1998, Goumnov told authorities he did not intend to kill Baglio but "wanted to make her be quiet."

Goumnov, who has been held without bail since his arrest, appeared in court yesterday wearing an orange prison jumpsuit, his thick hair closely cropped, his wrists in handcuffs.

His mother, Vera; his sister, Tatyana Sytailo; and his girlfriend, Ludmila Kerusenko, sat in the second row of the courtroom, behind the Baglio family.

No one from either group appeared to speak or make eye contact with the other. The three women left the hearing teary-eyed and without commenting on the case.

In earlier interviews, both Sytailo, 26, and Kerusenko, 21, said they believed Goumnov was working with or for "others" whom he is afraid to identify.

But Marchand said there was no evidence linking anyone else to the Baglio murder or to two other home invasions for which Goumnov has been charged.

Goumnov is awaiting trial for first-degree murder in Atlantic County for a November 1997 home break-in in Hamilton Township. He also has been charged with an October 1997 home invasion in Springfield, Bucks County, in which three women and an infant were bound and gagged with duct tape while their home was ransacked.

Yesterday, Goumnov was sentenced to 30 years for aggravated manslaughter, 10 years for possession of a weapon, and 5 years for receiving stolen property. The plea agreement also stipulated that he would have to serve 33 years before he is eligible for parole.

He faces a possible death sentence if convicted in the Atlantic County case.

George Anastasia's e-mail address is ganastasia@phillynews.com

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