Federal prosecutors have been granted more time to decide if they will seek the death penalty for the fatal shooting of an Indian man at an Olathe bar.
A federal judge on Thursday granted prosecutors a six-month stay in the federal hate crime case filed against Adam Purinton.
“A stay would give the parties appropriate time to investigate and present aggravated and mitigating factors bearing upon the death penalty decision,” U.S. District Judge Carlos Murguia said in his order.
The stay in the federal case means that Johnson County prosecutors will proceed first in their first-degree murder case against Purinton.
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Purinton, 52, is charged with killing 32-year-old Srinivas Kuchibhotla in February at Austins Bar & Grill.
He is also charged in Johnson County with the attempted murder of two other men who were wounded, Alok Madasani and Ian Grillot.
Several months after the state charges were filed in Johnson County, federal prosecutors filed the hate crime charge against Purinton, alleging that he targeted Kuchibhotla and Madasani “because of their actual and perceived race, color, religion and national origin.”
Both men were from India and worked as engineers for Olathe-based Garmin.
While the maximum penalty for the murder charge is life in prison, the federal charge carries a potential death sentence.
Purinton is being held in the Johnson County Detention Center, and his preliminary hearing on the Johnson County murder charge is scheduled for Sept. 18.