Man pleads guilty to India techie murder
Olathe, Kansas: A Kansas man pleaded guilty on Tuesday to the murder of an Indian-born engineer whom he had angrily confronted about his immigration status at a bar here last year, then fatally shot in an attack that drew international scorn.
Witnesses said the suspect, Adam Purinton, yelled, "Get out of my country" before firing the shots that killed the engineer, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, and wounded two others. Federal authorities called the attack a hate crime.
Purinton's guilty plea was for state charges of first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder for the two men he wounded. Purinton, 52, is expected to be sentenced to life in prison on May 4, but he also still faces hate crime and firearm charges in federal court.
"Today's guilty verdict will not bring back my Srinu, but it will send a strong message that hate is never acceptable," Kuchibhotla's widow, Sunayana Dumala, said.
Kuchibhotla had been having drinks at Austin's Bar and Grill with a co-worker, Alok Madasani, who was also from India, when Purinton approached them on the patio and began interrogating them about their immigration status.
"Where are you from?" he asked, according to Will Hurst, an assistant district attorney in Johnson County, who was reading from a statement in court on Tuesday. "How did you get into this country?" Other bar patrons came to the defence of the two men, and Purinton left. But he returned with a Taurus 9-mm handgun, covered his face with a scarf and opened fire, Hurst said.
New York Times News Service