Washington: A US Navy veteran on Wednesday pleaded guilty to the murder of engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla in a racially motivated hate crime at a bar in Kansas City last year that raised fears of growing intolerance in America following President Donald Trumps tough rhetoric on immigration.
Adam Purinton, 52, pleaded guilty before a Kansas court.
He was charged with first-degree murder of Kuchibhotla, 32, and two counts of attempted first-degree murder in the shootings of his friend, Alok Madasani, and a bystander, who chased Purinton after he fled the Austin’s Bar and Grill in Olathe city on February 22 last year.
Purinton, yelled, “Get out of my country,” before shooting Kuchibhotla, who later died from injuries sustained in the attack. Kuchibhotla and Madasani worked as engineers at Garmin, a tech company that makes GPS devices. Puriton had earlier pleaded not guilty on all these charges and waived his preliminary hearing in late November 2017.
Before allowing Puri-nton’s plea, Judge Charles Droege explained to him that changing his plea meant he would face life in prison, as well as a minimum of 146 months, maximum of 653 months in prison for attempted murder, not to mention the sentence he’ll face if convicted of a hate crime in federal court.
Purinton told the judge he understood, then he sat down as the State presented the details of the incident last February.
Kuchibhotla’s widow Sunayana Dumala welcomed the guilty plea. “Today’s guilty verdict will not bring back my Srinu, but it will send a strong message that hate is never acceptable,” she said in a statement....