Shriya Patel found guilty of ‘arson causing death’

March 10, 2014

Escapes capital murder verdict in husband’s death.

By Deepak Chitnis

WASHINGTON, DC: The jury in the case of 27 year-old Shriya Patel, who is on trial for allegedly burning her husband to death in the bathtub of their home in Austin, Texas, two years ago, ultimately found her not guilty of capital murder, but guilty of “arson causing death.”

Shriya Patel (courtesy of Austin Police Department)

Shriya Patel (courtesy of Austin Police Department)

Her acquittal for the larger charge means that Patel will no longer face life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, but she was still found guilty for causing her husband’s death. That fact means that she is still facing a prison term of 5 to 99 years, depending on how the sentencing phase of the trial ultimately goes.

Patel had been in the US for only one week on April 17, 2012, when she immolated her then-29 year-old husband, Bimal Patel, in the bathtub of their apartment. Patel survived his wounds for about five months before dying at a local hospital, and a motive in the death was never conclusively proven.

RELATED STORY: Shriya Patel sentenced to 20 years for murdering her husband


Prosecutors contended that Patel was unhappy with the fact that her marriage was arranged, and killed her husband as some sort of revenge. The defense alleged that Bimal Patel wanted to die, and compelled his wife to kill him. When first responders arrived at the apartment, they saw that smoke alarms had been disabled, and the fire sprinklers were covered.

Bimal Patel (courtesy of The Claude News).

Bimal Patel (courtesy of The Claude News).

Local Fox News affiliate KTBC-7 reports that friends and relatives of Bimal Patel appeared disappointed in the reaction, while Shriya Patel was quite relieved at having been cleared of the capital murder charge. The jury took some time to deliver the verdict, and had some drama of their own when one of the jurors suddenly decided not to show up on Monday morning.

The jury, which now has an alternate to replace the absent one, will hear more testimony and be presented with new evidence as it moves towards deciding on a punishment for Patel.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter


8-year-old Neev Saraf from Maryland raising $25,000 for Nepal earthquake victims

May 1st, 2015

Saraf has raised nearly $18,000 within 4 days.

Scientists discover new way of cooking rice to reduce calories by 50%

March 26th, 2015

How many use coconut oil to cook rice?


Bogus story by Donald Trump that Muslims danced in New Jersey after 9/11 attacks: John J. Farmer

November 24th, 2015

Farmer was NJ’s attorney general when 9/11 happened.

A R Rahman supports Aamir Khan on ‘intolerance issue’, Anupam Kher, Ravindra Jadeja scoff at it

November 24th, 2015

Aamir Khan has started a strong debate in India.

Islamophobia: 2 women attacked in New York, woman in Cincinnati almost run down

November 24th, 2015

Muslims protest in San Diego, call for protection of…


Future Mars to get a ring like Saturn after destruction of Phobos
November 24th, 2015

Phobos is Mars’s largest moon. (more…)