Yandamuri regrets killing Saanvi, granny

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Raghunandan Yandamuri, who had killed baby Saanvi and her grandmother Satyawathi Venna in the US, has expressed regret over the killings, describing them as unintentional, during a con-fession at the Bridgeport Pennsylvania court.

Expressing sorrow for the double murders, he claimed that the murders happened accidentally in a bid to collect money from Saanvi’s family to pay his debts. The court postponed the case for final hearing to January 16.

During the trial on Wednesday, Raghunandan confessed that after losing $50,000 while gambling at casinos, and running up a $26,268 debt on nine credit cards, he had filed for bankruptcy in California and moved to Pennsylvania for a fresh start.

Raghunandan said he planned Saanvi’s kidnap to clear his debts, and had killed Satyawathi in the kidnap bid on October 22, when she resisted.

During the trial, the software engineer showed how he murdered Satyawathi in the court hall, by enacting the crime with a dummy knife provided by detectives.

Saanvi murderer may get death penalty

The US police has charged Raghunandan Yandamuri with 13 offences, and he is likely to face the death penalty due to the serious nature of his crimes.

The Venna family came to court to witness the hearing and appeared sad and calm. They did not speak to reporters after the hearing.

The detectives video-recorded Raghunandan’s 23-minute confession. Since he said he had no money to appoint an attorney, the judge appointed public attorney Stephen Heckman to represent him.
Mr Heckman argued that the judge should dismiss first-degree murder charges, as the accused never intended to kill. But magisterial district judge James P. Gallagher ordered application of all charges and set his arraignment for January 16.

Saanvi’s father Venkata Venna listened to the hearing quietly, clutching hands of relatives. Chenchu Latha Punuru, the baby’s mother, sat with friends in a nearby conference room, unable to bear the proceedings.

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