Srinivas Kuchibhotla murderer pleads not guilty to hate crime

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His next hearing in Johnson County is scheduled for May 8.

Srinivas Kuchibhotla. Credit: GoFundMe.com

Adam W. Purinton, the 52-year old man who fatally shot and killed Indian American Srinivas Kuchibhotla in February this year at an Olathe bar, was arraigned in Johnson County on Thursday.

Purinton, who is facing first-degree murder for killing 32-year-old Kuchibhotla, is also facing two counts of attempted first-degree murder for causing bullet injuries to two other men.

Purinton, a Navy veteran, pleaded not guilty to murder charges during his arraignment hearing on Thursday.

Adam W. Purinton

According to the complaint filed by the Justice Department in June, Purinton’s violent act has been termed as a hate crime as he was preliminary found to have engaged in committing the crime because of the race, color, religion and national origin of the Kuchibhotla, an Indian national.

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Purinton is also indicted for attempted murder of another Indian American Alok Madasani on the same hate crime grounds.

Ian Grillot, who also received a gunshot wound, was hailed as a hero as he tried to defend Kuchibhotla and Madasani when Purinton picked up an argument with the two immigrant nationals. Even though Grillot escorted Purinton out of the bar, he later came with a gun and shot three of them.

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Purinton is also facing a third indictment for violating federal firearms law.

On Thursday, Purinton waived his preliminary hearing and soon after this his lawyer Chief Public Defender Michael McCulloch entered not guilty pleas on his behalf.

His next hearing in Johnson County is scheduled for May 8.

Both Kuchibhotla and Madasani were engineers at Garmin International. According to Madasani, Purinton asked their visa status and shouted “get out of my country” before shooting them.

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Sunayana Dumala, wife of Kansas shooting victim Srinivas Kuchibhotla (Credit: Kansas City Star)

Following the killing of her husband, Sunayana Dumala, wife of Kuchibhotla requested the US government to ensure justice is served to her dead husband.

Dumala was almost deported as her legal status to live in the country expired following the death of her husband. It was the timely intervention of Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.) that helped to get her a temporary work permit.