Bill Rankin's Legal Brief

The AJC's blog about the courts, crime and law

Politically connected Atlantan sentenced in animal cruelty case

Atlanta businessman Sarkis Agasarkisian was arrested almost three years ago for stealing and mistreating a neighbor's runaway dog.


Agasarkisian, who immigrated here from Armenia in 1979, made a name for himself in the jewelry business he took over from his now-deceased father. The politically connected Agasarkisian also became entrenched in the local law enforcement community, serving for decades as a volunteer Fulton County deputy.

But the animal cruelty case morphed into a public integrity prosecution and had Agasarkisian facing maximum punishment of decades in prison. Early on, two former Atlanta mayors privately contacted judges who had the case. Last week, on the eve of trial, Agasarkisian was offered a favorable deal from Fulton prosecutors that he couldn't refuse. To read full coverage of the case, please go to

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Bill Rankin covers criminal justice for the Enterprise team.