WASHINGTON: A US Navy veteran, who is serving life in prison for killing Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla and injuring two others at a suburban Kansas City bar last year, on Monday pleaded guilty to hate crime and firearm charges.
Adam Purinton admitted that he fatally shot Kuchibhotla in February 2017 after confronting him and another man Alok Madasani from India at Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe. He is already serving life in prison on a State murder charge.
He faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, which is the sentence that the prosecution and defence are jointly requesting. Sentencing is scheduled for 2 July.
“Hate crimes are acts of evil, and the Department of Justice has prioritised their zealous prosecution,” said Acting Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio.
In this case, Adam Purinton embarked on a murderous rampage with clear premeditation to kill on the basis of race, colour, religion, and national origin, he said.
Several weeks before the shooting, Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Madasani, his friend and fellow engineer at Garmin, were at Austins when Adam Purinton saw them and made a comment to another patron.
Later, Adam Purinton called a friend and said he was on the run from the police because he had shot “two Iranians.”
He was charged with murder in Johnson County and with the hate crimes in federal court.
In March, he pleaded guilty in Johnson County to a charge of first-degree murder as well as two counts of attempted first-degree murder for wounding Madasani and Grillot. Earlier this month, a Johnson County judge sentenced Adam Purinton to life in prison.