Crime

Life in prison for murder of Indian engineer at bar; feds' hate crime case pending

Olathe man sentenced to life in prison for fatally shooting Garmin engineer from India in an alleged hate crime

Adam Purinton was sentenced May 4 to life in prison for fatally shooting Srinivas Kuchibhotla, a Garmin engineer from India in an alleged hate crime at Austins Bar & Grill last year.
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Adam Purinton was sentenced May 4 to life in prison for fatally shooting Srinivas Kuchibhotla, a Garmin engineer from India in an alleged hate crime at Austins Bar & Grill last year.

An Olathe man who fatally shot a Garmin engineer from India and wounded two other men last year inside a crowded bar was sentenced Friday to life in prison.

Adam W. Purinton was sentenced in Johnson County District Court, where he pleaded guilty in March to a charge of first-degree murder for killing Srinivas Kuchibhotla.

Purinton, 52, also pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted first-degree murder for shooting Alok Madasani, a co-worker of Kuchibhotla, and Ian Grillot, who had come to the aid of the two other men.

Under terms of the plea agreement in the case, District Judge Charles Droege sentenced Purinton to the maximum sentence on each of the three charges, and ordered them to run consecutively.

Purinton will not be eligible for parole for 930 months — or 77.5 years — and he acknowledged in court documents that the sentence "will ensure I die in prison."

"Our goal is to make sure that he never walks in the community again, that he spends the rest of his life in the penitentiary, and I believe this sentence will achieve that result," Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe said after the sentencing.

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Federal hate crime charges are pending against Purinton, who is scheduled to enter a plea in that case on May 21.

In February 2017, Purinton verbally harassed Kuchibhotla and Madasani at Austins Bar & Grill in Olathe and was ordered out of the business by employees.

He returned a short time later and unleashed a fusillade of 9mm bullets that killed Kuchibhotla.

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Srinivas Kuchibhotla (from left) was killed and Alok Madasani and Ian Grillot were shot at Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe on Feb. 22, 2017. File photos

None of the victims or their family members attended the sentencing Friday.

But Assistant District Attorney Aubrey Sample read a statement by Sunayana Dumala, the widow of Kuchibhotla:

Sunayana Dumala, widow of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, reads a statement in response to the sentencing of her husband's killer, Adam Purinton. Purinton received a sentence of life in prison for the killing.

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"He was only enjoying a glass of beer with his friend," she said. "I wish you had the ability to see beyond my husband’s skin color and the beautiful and kindhearted person underneath it."

She described how they met, and how they were looking forward to having children together in the dream home they had found together in Kansas.

"He was love of my life, a true friend and my biggest support system," she wrote. "We were supposed to be together for lifetime but now the thought of having to live life alone and the hardships that come with it is unbearable."

Dumala described how her husband always had love and respect for other people, and how he had instilled those values in her.

"I hope in the years that you must spend in the jail you will one day realize the magnitude of your mistake and work toward your penance," she said.

Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe comments on the life sentence handed to Adam Purinton for killing a man from India. "It’s really mind-numbing in some sense,” Howe said.

Howe compared the Olathe shootings to F. Glenn Miller's anti-Semitic rampage in 2014 at the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom in Overland Park.

“It’s troubling in the sense that I feel like Johnson County has really come a long way as far as being a warm and receptive community for people of different beliefs, faiths, backgrounds," Howe said. "And so to have those two types of events to happen in our county is really mind-numbing.

"I don’t think it’s reflective about our community as a whole. If you ask people around this community, they’re willing to accept people of different backgrounds. That’s why people were outraged about what has happend in these last two instances because it’s not reflective of our community values."

Purinton did not comment in court on Friday. But in a written statement filed at the time of his plea, he said he accepted full responsibility for the "grievous harm" he caused the victims, their families and the entire community.

"I hope that this plea might, in some small way, help reduce the suffering that I have caused them all," he said in his statement. "I do not want the families to have to go through lengthy pretrial hearings, a trial or possible appeals in this case."

Watch: Adam Purinton pleads guilty in Johnson County in March to first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder in shootings at Austins Bar & Grill

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