Notorious Telugu bidda Raghunandan Yandamuri dashed the hopes of millions of Telugus eagerly waiting for a scorching trial drama by seeking a delay in his death penalty trial that was scheduled to start on May 5, 2014.
Raghunandan Yandamuri, a software programmer from the South Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, was arrested on October 26, 2012 in connection with the killings of 10-month-old Saanvi Venna and her 61-year-old grandmother Satyavathi Venna in their King of Prussia (PA) apartment on October 22, 2012 in a botched kidnapping for ransom bid.
Pennsylvania prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Raghunandan Yandamuri considering the extremely heinous nature of the crimes.
Yandamuri’s trial is one of the most anticipated events among the Telugu diaspora in the U.S. and a hot topic of conversation wherever Telugus gather.
A delay in Yandamuri’s trial will be a mighty dampener for Telugus who were looking forward to the event with greater gusto and anticipation than for Allu Arjun’s new movie Race Gurram.
Reasons for Delay
Yandamuri’s attorneys filed a motion today in the court of Montgomery County judge Steven T.O’Neill seeking a delay in the trial date.
The Telugu bidda’s attorneys Stephen Heckman and Henry Hillis said in the motion they will not be able to get key character witnesses from India by May 5.
It’s hard to understand how someone can vouch for Yandamuri’s character given the Telugu bidda’s gambling habits, bankruptcy filing triggered by gambling and a chilling video confession in which the Andhra native enacted the killings although he claimed they were accidental.
“In January 2014, the first real trial date was set for May 2014, and in furtherance of trying to prepare for that date the defense sought to have testify various defendant family members including, but not limited to, defendant’s mother and brother,” Yandamuri’s attorneys wrote in the motion as per media reports.
Yandamuri – Other Motions
Yandamuri also has other motions pending before Judge O’Neill including one for suppression of his video confession and another to prevent use of color pictures of the crime scene.
Judge O’Neill is set to rule on those motions Thursday.
Yandamuri’s attorneys said in today’s court filing they also need more time to respond to the judge’s upcoming rulings.
In their motion, Heckman and Hillis sought a “full and complete” list of witnesses that Montgomery County prosecutors intend to testify at trial.
Yandamuri’s defense team is also waiting for some unspecified reports from experts as part of their trial preparation strategy.
“This is a death penalty case and the defense is required to be as fully prepared as possible to defend our client, which is not possible at the present time based on the need for crucial mitigation witnesses and the need to receive additional expert information, a list of witnesses and other requested discovery,” Raghu Yandamuri’s attorneys wrote in the motion.
It’ll be a miracle ordained by Lord Balaji of the Seven Hills if Raghunandan Yamndamuri escapes the death penalty.
Telugu Costs America Dear
Yandamuri’s trial is costing Pennsylvania taxpayers a pretty penny.
Both his attorneys are being paid for by the state since the Telugu bidda is in dire financial straits.
Raghunandan Yandamuri has been eating and living at American taxpayers’ expense at the Montgomery County jail since October 26, 2012.
We estimate that the investigations into Raghunandan Yandamuri’s alleged killings, the money for his public defender attorneys and expert witnesses, preparation for the trial, visit to India by members of the defense team and other costs should already be running into a few hundred thousand dollars.
What a shame!