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Indian Sentenced to Death for Killing a Baby Girl and her Grandmother in Pennsylvania

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Indian Sentenced Death

Raghunandan Yandamuri, who murdered an Indian American 10-month-old baby also her grandmother in 2012 in Pennsylvania during a botched kidnapping attempt, lost his bid Jan. 6 to charge a detective involved in his case with fraud.

On Oct. 10, 2014, since being sentenced to death for the offensive killings, Yandamuri said Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Steven T. O’Neill: “I don’t want this hearing. I would rather take the death penalty.” O’Neill sentenced Yandamuri to die by lethal injection.

A day earlier, jurors convicted the 27-year-old of 2 counts of first-degree murder for murdering ten-month-old Saanvi Venna including her grandmother, Satyavathi Venna, who was visiting from India after the birth of her first grandchild.

Yandamuri was also convicted of 7 felonies relating to kidnapping & burglary. He was also convicted of one misdemeanor charge of abusing a corpse. During the trial, prosecutors told Yandamuri – a neighbor of the Venna family who frequently socialized with them – 1st killed Satyavathi, then searched the Vennas’ apartment for valuables. He then stuffed baby Saanvi into a suitcase and escaped the apartment with the suitcase, which he stashed in a basement gym.

Saanvi was the 1st child of Indian American software engineers Latha & Venkata Venna; Satyavathi was Venkata’s mother.

Prosecutors during the trial told Yandamuri was trying to get ransom money from the Vennas to sustain his heavy gambling debts and his pregnant wife. Police arrested Yandamuri at a gambling casino.

Since his sentencing, Yandamuri has filed an appeal saying he was coerced into confessing the crimes. The Andhra Pradesh native – who has been in the U.S. since 2010 on an H-1B temporary worker’s visa – has fired his court-appointed lawyers and is representing himself.  A court date has not yet been fixed for the appeal.

On Jan. 5, Yandamuri appeared in court to seek approval to file a criminal complaint upon Montgomery County, Penn., Detective Paul Bradbury, the lead investigator in the dual murder case. In making his plea, Yandamuri told Bradbury had committed perjury in his testimony during the October 2014 trial.

“He made inconsistent statements. Detective Bradbury contradicted his testimony,” stated Yandamuri in court, implying that Judge Steven O’Neill – who presided over the case – was misled by Bradbury’s testimony.

Montgomery County Deputy District Attorney Thomas W. McGoldrick defended the investigator. “We believe that Detective Bradbury was absolutely honest at every stage of the pretrial motions and at the trial in this case and Judge O’Neill’s decision and the jury’s decision back that up,” stated McGoldrick.

A day later – Jan. 6 – Montgomery County Judge Gary S. Silow ruled that Yandamuri could not file a criminal complaint against Bradbury. Silow did not elaborate on his ruling.

Last year, Yandamuri had filed an alike petition with the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office, but prosecutors rejected the complaint, stating it lacked merit.

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