"I wish Adam Purinton had the ability to see beyond my husband's skin colour and the beautiful and kind-hearted person underneath it," Sunayana said.

Sentence wont bring back Srinu but hate is unacceptable says Kuchibotlas wife
news Crime Sunday, May 06, 2018 - 08:14

Sunayana Dumala, the widow of Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla, who was killed in a racially motivated hate crime at a bar in Kansas city in 2017, has hoped that the man accused of the murder, would one day realize the "magnitude of your mistake".

She was responding to Adam Purinton, a former US Navy veteran, being sentenced to life in prison for committing the crime.

51-year-old Adam Purinton was sentenced on Friday in Johnson County District Court, where he pleaded guilty in March to a charge of first-degree murder for killing Kuchibhotla. He also pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted first-degree murder for shooting Kuchibhotla's co-worker Alok Madasani and American man Ian Grillot, who had come to the aid of the two men.

Purinton hurled racial slurs saying, "get out of my country" and "terrorist" before firing shots at Kuchibhotla and his friend at a bar in the city of Olathe on February 22, 2017. 

Kuchibhotla died after he was taken to a hospital while Madasani was injured. Grillot was also shot.

Before Friday's sentencing, Assistant District Attorney Aubrey Sample read a written statement addressed to Purinton, from Sunayana Dumala, Kuchibhotla's widow. 

"I learned from the cops that the murder of my husband was premeditative and racially motivated," she wrote. 

"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 colour and the beautiful and kind-hearted person underneath it," she said.

In a video statement later, she said, "Today’s sentencing in the murder of my husband will not bring back my Srinu, but it sends out a very strong message that hate is never acceptable. I want to thank the district attorney’s office and the Olathe police for their efforts to bring him to justice."

"However, we are not done yet and there is a long way ahead of us in building a safer community for all of us. I don't want another Sunayana to go through losing their loved ones. Nothing can fill the void that has been left by the horrific crime," she added.

Purinton did not comment in court on Friday. But in a written statement filed at the time of his plea, he said he accepted full responsibility for the "grievous harm" he caused the victims, their families and the entire community.

"I hope that this plea might, in some small way, help reduce the suffering that I have caused them all," he said.

Purinton will not be eligible for parole for 930 months -- or 77.5 years -- and he acknowledged in court documents that the sentence "will ensure I die in prison".

"Our goal is to make sure that he never walks in the community again, that he spends the rest of his life in the penitentiary, and I believe this sentence will achieve that result," Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe said.

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.”


Read: ‘Death sentence or life imprisonment won’t heal our wounds’: say kin of Srinivas Kuchibhotla


IANS inputs

Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.