Indian techie's death convict gets life sentence

Lynette PayneMay 06, 2018

A Kansas judge sentenced a man who killed an Indian engineer and wounded two others in a possible hate crime past year to life in prison.

Purinton, shouted, "Get out of my country", prior to shoot Kuchibhotla, who soon after died from injuries sustained in the attack.

Wounded in the attack were Alok Madasani, Kuchibhotla's co-worker at US company Garmin Ltd, which makes navigational and fitness-tracking devices, and Ian Grillot, an American who tried to intervene. He had pleaded guilty to the charges of murdering Kuchibhotla at a bar in Olathe on February 22, 2017. Apart from the first-degree murder of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, Purinton was charged with two counts of attempt to first-degree murder.

He is also facing federal hate crime and firearms charges, which could result in the death penalty.

He pleaded guilty to the charges earlier in March and entered a plea agreement for a 78 years sentence.

In addition to the state charges, Purinton faces prosecution in federal court. He was asked to leave but eventually returned and yelled "Get out of my country!" before firing at the men.

The accused fired shots at Srinivas Kuchibhotla and his friend Alok Madasani. Johnson County District Court Judge Charles Droege sentenced Purinton to life in prison for Kuchibhotla's murder plus 27 years for the attempted murder of Madasani and Grillot.

While Purinton would be eligible for parole in 50 years, he was likely to spend the rest of his life in prison.

Dumala said her husband was working on several large contracts at Garmin when he was killed and those contracts will provide jobs to many people.

A sad, yet strong Sunayana Dummala, wife of Srinivas, in a video message to the media shared that though the judgment will not bring back her husband, it is a strong message that hate will not be accepted. Dumala said she hoped Purinton would one day realize the "magnitude of your mistake". He then fled and was arrested hours later at an Applebee's restaurant 70 miles away in Clinton, Missouri. Kansas shooting was another blow to the Telugu community in US.

"I hope that this plea might, in some small way, help reduce the suffering that I have caused them all", he said in his statement.

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