US Navy Veteran Who Killed Srinivas Kuchibhotla in Kansas Gets Life Sentence
Today's sentencing sends a strong message that hate is never acceptable, Srinivas Kuchibhotla’s wife Sunayana Dumala said after the court's decision.
American Navy veteran Adam Purinton who killed Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla in Kansas City in 2017 was sentenced to life in prison on May 4. He had pleaded guilty to the charges of murdering Kuchibhotla at a bar in Olathe on Feb. 22, 2017.
Purinton, 52, was sentenced by Johnson County, Kan. District Court Judge James Charles Droege to nearly 78 years in prison as part of a plea agreement reached in March. He will not be eligible for parole until after he turns 100.
He was charged with first-degree murder of Kuchibhotla, 32, and two counts of attempted first-degree murder for shooting his friend, Alok Madasani, and an American bystander, Ian Grillot. Both Madasani and Grillot, who chased Purinton after he fled Austin’s Bar and Grill, were injured in the attack.
Purinton had yelled, “Get out of my country,” before shooting Kuchibhotla, who later died from injuries sustained in the attack.
Purinton also received 165 months imprisonment for each of the other two attempt-to-murder charges.
Kuchibhotla’s wife Sunayana Dumala expressed satisfaction at the court’s decision.
“Today’s sentencing in the murder of my husband will not bring back my Srinu, but it sends a strong message that hate is never acceptable,” Dumala said in a statement. “I want to thank the District Attorney’s office and the Olathe police for their efforts to bring this man to justice,” she said.
“Imagine how much more he could have achieved and contributed to the community if not for your anger and hatred,” she added. “I hope in the years that you must spend in the jail you will one day realize the magnitude of your mistake,” she said.
Purinton was arrested on Feb. 23 at another restaurant, where he had allegedly boasted of killing Middle Easterners, according to the Kansas City Star. He is also facing federal hate crime and firearms charges, which could result in death penalty. Purinton has pleaded not guilty in the federal case.
Kuchibhotla, who was from Hyderabad, moved to the United States to study engineering at the University of Texas at El Paso. Later, he bought a house, got married and planned to start a family, his wife had said.
The hate crime had garnered a lot of attention from the media and the Indian American community. Protests were staged in Kansas and in other states in a show of solidarity.
Dumala, who has become a voice against hate crime in the United States after losing her husband, was also invited to attend US President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address on Jan.30.