Adam Purinton pleads guilty to first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder in shootings at Austins Bar & Grill
A 52-year-old Olathe man admitted Tuesday that he fatally shot a Garmin engineer from India last year at Austins Bar & Grill.
Adam W. Purinton will spend the rest of his life in prison as a result of pleading guilty Tuesday in Johnson County to a charge of first-degree murder in the February 2017 killing of Srinivas Kuchibhotla and two counts of attempted first-degree murder in the shootings of his friend and a bystander.
Prosecutors have said that Purinton verbally harassed Kuchibhotla and another Indian man before he was thrown out of the Olathe business.
He returned a short time later and unleashed a fusillade of 9mm bullets that killed Kuchibhotla.
His friend Alok Madasani, who also worked at Garmin, was wounded, along with Ian Grillot, who had come to the aid of the two other men. The men were not in the courtroom Tuesday when Purinton pleaded guilty.
In addition to the charges in Johnson County, Purinton is facing federal hate crime charges. Authorities allege that Kuchibhotla and Madasani were targeted because of their ethnicity, race or national origin.
Tuesday's plea agreement did not involve the federal case, which carries a possible death sentence. Federal authorities have not yet made a decision on whether they will seek the death penalty.
Purinton pleaded not guilty in November to the federal hate crime charges.
Kuchibhotla's widow was not in the courtroom for the plea but released a statement that while the guilty plea would not bring back her husband, it sends a message that hate is never acceptable.
"We must understand and love one another," Sunayana Dumala said in her statement.
She will speak Friday -- which would have been Kuchibhotla's 34th birthday -- before a two-mile memorial peace walk in Kuchibhotla's honor from Garmin Headquarters in Olathe to Austins, where they will leave flowers to memorialize Kuchibhotla.
"Let us continue to work for peace, understanding and love -- the things Srinu stood for and will be his legacy," she said in her statement.
Assistant District Attorney Will Hurst said the two Garmin co-workers were sitting in the bar's patio when Purinton confronted them. He asked them where they were from and how they got into the country.
According to previously released court documents in Johnson County and Hurst:
Madasani told police that he did not know why Purinton was making comments.
Purinton continued to confront the two men until Grillot and another bar patron told him to leave.
Bar employees escorted Purinton from the business, but he returned about 30 minutes later with a handgun. He wore a scarf to partially cover his face and walked to the patio where the men were sitting.
He fired at least eight shots from close range, Hurst said.
Kuchibhotla was shot at least three times. He was taken to the University of Kansas Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Madasani was shot once in the leg. Grillot chased after the gunman, who turned and shot him in the hand and upper chest.
Purinton fled and was arrested at 12:40 a.m. in Clinton, Mo. The scarf he used to cover his face was found in his truck. Police later found a 9mm handgun in his home, and lab testing confirmed it was the same gun used in the Austins' shooting. District Judge Charles Droege will sentence Purinton May 4. The murder count carries a mandatory life sentence. The sentence for his attempted murder charges will depend on his criminal history, if any. Those sentences will run consecutively. And the plea agreement calls for his sentences to run consecutively with any sentence he receives in the federal hate crime charge.