Saturday, 21 July, 2018

Kansas man pleads guilty to shooting and killing Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media captionWidow's worry Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionWidow's worry"Hate crimes will be more open now
Melinda Barton | 07 March, 2018, 10:45

A Kansas man pleaded guilty in state court Tuesday to killing an engineer from India in a high-profile hate crime that drew global attention and raised fears of growing intolerance in America.

Purinton still faces federal hate crime charges that could potentially carry the death penalty.

Alok Madasani, who also worked at Garmin, was wounded, along with Ian Grillot, who had come to the aid of the two other men.

According to court documents, Purinton was asked to leave the bar when he made derogatory comments.

A drunk Adam Purinton confronted Indian men Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani about their immigration status and was kicked out of the bar.

In Johnson County District Court on Tuesday, Purinton, 52, reversed that plea and agreed to the maximum sentence for each of three counts: one count of premeditated first degree murder, and two counts of attempted murder in the first degree. Purinton then turned around and shot Grillot before driving away. The men, both 32, had come from India to the United States as students and worked as engineers at nearby GPS-maker Garmin. Purinton had pleaded not guilty on all these charges and waived his preliminary hearing in late November 2017.

Purinton left the bar after Grillot and another man asked him to leave.

Mr Kuchibhotla's widow, who was not in court, said after Tuesday's plea agreement that the outcome showed hate was never acceptable. Purinton faces life in prison with no chance of parole for 50 years when he is sentenced on May 4 for premeditated first-degree murder. "Let us continue to work for peace, understanding and love - the things Srinu stood for and will be his legacy". "Please join me this Friday, March 9th, which would have been Shrinu's birthday, to peacefully walk together in his memory". Purinton shouted at the two Indian men, "Get out of my country" before shooting at them. "We must understand and love one another".

Purinton was later arrested at an Applebee's in Clinton, Missouri, after telling a bartender there he needed a place to hide because he had shot two Iranians.

A few days after Kuchibhotla's murder, another Indian man, Deep Rai, was shot and injured outside his home in Kent, Washington.