The Kansas district court Judge on Friday awarded life imprisonment to US Navy veteran Adam Purinton for the murder of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, and for injuring two others in a racially motivated attack.
The judge, James Charles Dreogre sentenced Adam to nearly 78 years in prison after reviewing his plea.
On February 22, 2017, Srinivas and his friend Madasani—both from Telangana- were shot by Adam in a premeditated hate crime.
While Srinivas succumbed to the injuries almost immediately, Madasani was grievously injured. Another American, Ian Grillot, who is now revered as an American hero, also suffered injuries when he tried to save Srinivas and Madasani.
Before firing at them, Adam reportedly yelled, “get out of my country”.
Srinivas was from Hyderabad, and his colleague Madasani hails from Warangal district in Telangana. They were working as aviation programme managers at Garmin, an American MNC. Madasani’s wife, Sunayana was expecting a child at the time of this shooting.
Reacting to the verdict, Srinivas’ co-brother G Venu Madhav told TNM, “Ours is an irreparable loss. It doesn’t matter if he is being executed or incarcerated for life. Awarding him death sentence or life imprisonment won’t heal our wounds and sufferings. We also didn’t want him (Adam) to be punished severely. He too must be having a family. But since the law has taken the decision, we abide by it. I sincerely hope that such incidents would not reoccur in the future. I hope that this verdict will act as a deterrent to such racially motivated crimes.”
He added, “Sunayana has not yet recovered from the loss. She is still mourning. The entire family is still mourning Srinivas’ death.”
Sunayana’s sister Karuna also expressed similar views. She said that though the verdict has provided some relief, that cannot possibly get one their loss. Further she appreciated the US judiciary for working efficiently and delivering a swift judgement in the case.
Sunayana is presently in the US. She reportedly told Adam, "I hope you one day realize the magnitude of your mistake. I learned from the cops that the murder of my husband was premeditated and racially motivated. In the few minutes that you have seen Srinu, you built so much hatred for him that you decided he did not deserve to live. I wish you had the ability to see beyond my husband's skin color and the beautiful and kind-hearted person underneath it."
Earlier in January, Sunayana launched a campaign titled 'Forever Welcome' to spread the message that immigrants were an integral part of the country.
In a Facebook post, she spoke about her journey, days before she was scheduled to attend the maiden State of the Union address by US President Donald Trump.
She wrote, “Do we belong? This is the question I asked 11 months ago, in my first Facebook post, days after my husband was taken from me. To my surprise, the post was widely spread and received an overwhelming response and an outpouring of love and support. Many writers and documentary filmmakers approached me, and I was often asked what compelled me to ask that question. It was my pain that made me write that elaborate and long post. My pain of losing a part of me - my Srinu. By sharing the story, I wanted to shed light on the fact that we were normal people; like everyone else, we had dreams of having a better future and family. But all of this got shattered because of one man’s ignorance.”