Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill did not rule today on Telugu bidda Raghunandan Yandamuri’s motion for suppression of his confession statement in the upcoming murder trial.
Raghunandan Yandamuri is charged in the killings of 10-month-old Saanvi Venna and her 61-year-old grandmother Satyavathi Venna in their King of Prussia apartment on October 22, 2012.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Yandamuri given the heinous nature of the crimes.
Raghunandan Yandamuri confessed to the killings in a bizarre video interview in October 2012 but claimed the killings were accidental. Yandamuri now argues that the confession was obtained under dubious circumstances and should not be allowed in the trial.
Yandamuri’s Public Defender counsel Stephen Heckman told the court that Yandamuri’s confession statements were elicited through psychological coercion, intimidation and subterfuge, a point that’s been made on prior occasions too.
Montgomery County prosecutors disputed Yandamuri’s contention that his rights were violated in the obtaining of his confession statement.
Assistant District Attorney Samantha Cauffman said although Yandamuri was told he could leave he voluntarily signed forms agreeing to cooperate with the police.
Montgomery County prosecutors are asking the court to allow the confession statement and all evidence in the trial.
Yandamuri, who turns 28 on February 21, was also present during the hearing in the Montgomery court today.
After hearing arguments from both the defense and prosecution, Judge O’Neill said he’d set a hearing date for issuing his ruling on the confession statement suppression motion.
It’s not clear when Judge O’Neill will rule on the confession suppression motion.
However, Judge O’Neill said he’d rule on Yandamuri’s motion for change of venue in a couple of weeks.
Raghunandan Yandamuri’s trial date has been set for May 5, 2014.