Understanding Raghu Yandamuri’s Case

Update: Telugu Bidda Raghu Yandamuri Execution Date Set for February 23, 2018

Raghunandan YandamuriThe whole world knows Telugu bidda Raghunandan Yandamuri was arrested by Montgomery County, PA police on October 26, 2012 and charged with the kidnapping and murder of 10-month-old Saanvi Venna and the murder of her 61-year-old grandmother Satyavathi Venna.

But the world, at least the Indian world, does not know what comes next in the Pennsylvania legal process.

In this post, we shall explain the steps involved in Raghunandan Yandamuri’s case through a chart and some analysis:

Understanding Raghunandan Yandamuri's CaseSource: Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, PA

In the above chart, only the first two steps have been completed in the Raghunandan Yandamuri case

* Arrest – Raghunandan Yandamuri was arrested on October 26, 2012 by detectives of the Montgomery County.

* Preliminary Arraignment: Raghunandan Yandamuri was produced before Magisterial Judge James Gallagher on October 26, 2012 at 2:30PM and remanded to custody without bail since this is a capital offense of murder. A capital offense is one where the accused is eligible for death penalty if found guilty.

* Preliminary Hearing: Originally scheduled for November 2, postponed to November 14 and again postponed to November 28.

A lot of what happens next hinges on the Preliminary Hearing scheduled for 9:30AM on November 28, 2012.

During the perp walk, when he was asked by reporters how he could kill a baby, Raghunandan Yandamuri responded:

I am not the one.

Is that a hint that Raghu Yandamuri had already made up his mind to fight the charges against him tooth and nail?

Likely not.

Raghunandan Yandamuri does not have a team of attorneys to defend him since he appears to lack the money to hire private attorneys.

Instead, Raghunandan Yandamuri has to depend upon a Public Defender, who is constrained by limited funds,  limited resources and limited expertise in fighting a case of this magnitude.

Raghunandan Yandamuri will also have to worry about the implications of a long-drawn out case on his pregnant wife Komali Alokam, a housewife.

If Raghu Yandamuri Pleads Guilty

Should Raghunandan Yandamuri decide to plead guilty during the preliminary hearing, the legal drama will get over soon after the sentencing and we can expect one of the two  outcomes:

1. Raghunandan Yandamuri will get life in prison (an American prison, not an Indian prison) without parole.

But his life in prison will be a nightmare if he’s thrown into the general population.

Baby killers and child molesters are held in extremely low regard by other prisoners and Raghu will soon suffer grievous injury or even death at the hands of one of the inmates.

2. Raghunandan Yandamuri is awarded death penalty.

Raghunandan Yandamuri will be moved to Death Row.

If Raghu Yandamuri Does Not Plead guilty

If Raghunandan Yandamuri does not plead guilty, we can expect a lengthy court process that could take several months.

At the end of the trial, Raghunandan Yandamuri could be found guilty (see above) or walk out an innocent man.

Death Penalty in Pennsylvania

Although Pennsylvania is one of the American states that allows for death penalty, it has not executed any one since 1999.

A legislative panel studying the efficacy of death penalty has recently recommended to the state’s Governor Tom Corbett that no executions be carried out until it submits report in December 2013.

In any case, even if Raghunandan Yandamuri is found guilty and awarded death penalty  it’ll be at least 10 years before he is executed via lethal injection depending on various factors including resumption of executions and appeals if any filed by Raghu.

Pennsylvania is said to have 200 people on Death Row.

8 Responses to "Understanding Raghu Yandamuri’s Case"

  1. gandhiji   November 27, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Shouldn’t arraignment have two branches(or whatever it is called) in the flow chart?

    plea of Gulti/plea of Not Gulti.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    I don’t think so…because if case is discharged during preliminary hearing, Arraignment does not come into play!

    Gulti or Not Gulti? I Likee, mucho likee! 😉

    • gandhiji   November 27, 2012 at 9:01 pm

      At arraignment, if he pleads guilty, then there won’t be any trial, right? (Are those commas in the right places? Or are there too many commas?)

      SearchIndia.com Responds:

      At the preliminary hearing tomorrow if Raghunandan Yandamuri pleads guilty, there won’t be a trial.

      We will have to await the sentencing to learn his ultimate fate – Life in Prison or the Lethal Injection!

      But what if he does not plead guilty tomorrow?

      Then it goes to the formal arraignment, trial etc.

      After all during the Perp Walk, he said I’m Not the One.

      • gandhiji   November 27, 2012 at 9:35 pm

        I understand that.

        But I am asking if there should be a separate branch for a guilty plea.. I am not sure if should sprout forth from the “Preliminary Hearing” dabba or the “Arraignment” dabba

        SearchIndia.com Responds:

        Maybe Yes, an arrow from the Guilty plea straight to Sentencing skipping the other boxes!

        At a preliminary hearing the judge will decide whether there is enough evidence to cause a reasonable person to believe a crime was committed and the defendant committed it. At the preliminary hearing, the standard of proof required is very low.

        Update: But if Raghunandan Yandamur chooses to Plead Guilty then his lawyer may waive the Preliminary Hearing.

        We’ll know tomorrow.

        For more info on Preliminary Hearing: http://www.lawfirms.com/resources/criminal-defense/criminal-defense-case/preliminary-hearings.htm

  2. srini.srigha   November 27, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Tomorrow is the day.

    I guess a lot of folks will be waiting with interest.

    I still think Raghu will try to fight this case, though he is the murderer.

    Let’s see tomorrow. 🙂

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    1. Raghu’s principal constraint is lack of money and his wife Komali Alokam’s present condition.

    The lady is pregnant and presumably without much financial resources here as she was not working.

    *****I think whichever option he chooses will be designed to help Komali.*****

    I am making the reasonable assumption that Raghunandan Yandamuri dearly loves his wife (after all his was a “Prema Vivaham” (love marriage).

    Plus, if you remember Raghunandan is said to have tried to get her the “Reward Money” by asking the cops to tell the media that his wife had turned him in.

    2. If he is guilty, by pleading guilty Raghu puts a quick end to the entire drama. Komali Alokam returns to India.

    3. If Raghu pleads not guilty, Komali Alokam will most likely be allowed to stay here for the duration of the case on compassionate grounds.

    The baby will be born here, an American citizen.

    Komali may also try to change her Visa status and get a job here.

    By staying here, she gets a chance to see Raghu at least once in a while.

    In the long run, Komali Alokam and the baby have better prospects here than in AP. Surely, Raghu is not unaware of that.

    If she returns to Ma Desham (Andhra Pradesh), it’d be extremely difficult and expensive for her to visit Raghu again.

    Dragging out the case would be to Raghu’s advantage but the biggest problem in this scenario is how Komali would manage in the short run. Not sure if her family is well-off.

    4. BTW, Raghunandan Yandamuri is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

  3. svhyd   November 27, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    If awarded death penalty, he will become the first ever Indian in the US to receive it.

    Source: http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/foreign-nationals-and-death-penalty-us#Nationality

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    1. OMG, what a shame!

    It’s hard to believe our people are any less barbaric than other nationals.

    Most likely, the wily Indians have managed to evade capture.

    2. I have tracked down two people of Indian origin on Death Row in California – Virendra Govin and Pravin Govin.

    They are UK nationals but from their names they definitely are desis.

    Facts of the Crime:

    [Virendra] Govin was sentenced to death in Los Angeles on December 21, 2004. On May 4, 2002, Govin, along with his brother, Pravin, and Carlos Amador, went to Gita Kumar’s house. Govin and his cohorts strangled Kumar, Kumar’s 18-year-old son Plara Kumar, Kumar’s 16-year-old daughter Tulsi Kumar, and Kumar’s mother-in-law Sitaben Patel. They then set Kumar’s home on fire. The murders were over a business rivalry with Kumar. Govin’s cohort, Amador, admitted to the murders and testified against Govin and Govin’s brother, who was also sentenced to death.

    Source: – http://www.cncpunishment.com/forums/showthread.php?350-Virendra-Govin-California-Death-Row

    3. BTW, Virendra Govin on Death Row in California is looking for a Pen-Pal.

    Anyone interested?

    Greetings, I hope when this reaches you that it finds you in good health and spirits. I am a Death Row prisoner. I would like a pen-pal. Thank you for your time and take care.
    – Virendra Govin

    Source: http://www.lostvault.com/penpals/detail.asp?iType=20&iAd=13663

    ******Should we write to Virendra and ask him to write a Guest Post for SI on Life on the Death Row for an Indian?******

    Virendra Govin #V-62489
    San Quentin State Prison
    San Quentin, CA 94974

    4. Then, there is Krishna Maharaj in FL serving a life term.

    Source: http://www.internationaljusticeproject.org/nationalsstats.cfm

  4. santoshg   November 27, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    It’s better the wife Komila Alokam would try to forget about this idiot.

    People also just think, ‘saanvi’ was kidnapped on 22nd of October in the morning and found dead on 26 of October.

    In between these 4 days Raghu was [deleted because there is no proof to support your assertion].

    My sincere request is Raghunandan should punish with death penalty that to in US itself.

    His death would be a good lesson to the people who are blindly dreaming about the USA instead thinking of their financial statuses and also people should not try to do such things… this is a shame thing to Indian culture and this idiot should hang soon…

    In my knowledge 50,000 $ is a very small amount, if he is in India either he can earn that money hardly in 4 years or he can go with a H1B to earn more, how come this devil had an idea that for such a small amount killing or kidnapping of such a cute girl.

    This person death would be a lesson to our community and the people who are having such thoughts still in mind

    Thanks to Searchindia for posting about case trial as we are really unable to find any progress of this case in any channels, thank you.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    1. Everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

    There is not a shred of evidence to support the deleted portion of the comment.

    2. You write: this is a shame thing to Indian culture

    What culture??? Culture is for civilized people!

    • santoshg   November 28, 2012 at 2:01 pm

      Thank you for you reply. I agree with you, Culture is for civilized people only

      • shar   November 28, 2012 at 2:43 pm

        I follow this case eagerly because of 2 reasons- one like everybody else and also I live in king of prussia area.

        I love your blogs of gulti summa kalakareenga SI…

        I live in this kop surrounded by 1000s of yandamuri’s nativities.

        Really love to read ur blogs… “Golti never feel guilty” for anything- moral of the story!

        SearchIndia.com Responds:

        It looks like Raghunandan Yandamuri is dragging out the whole thing.

        With his video statement to the police in which he acknowledges kidnapping/killing, he has absolutely no hope of getting out of prison except in a Horizontal Box.

        By not pleading guilty and putting an end to this sordid affair, he’s instead dragging it out.

        I think he’s buying time.

        But why?

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