DA May Seek Death For Accused Venna Killer

Raghunandan Yandamuri remains held without bail at the Montgomery County jail.

The man accused of killing an infant girl and her grandmother in an Upper Merion apartment last month may face the death penalty.

Phillyburbs.com reports that the Montgomery County district attorney's office is considering seeking a death sentence for Raghunandan Yandamuri, who allegedly killed 10-month-old Saanvi Venna and her 61-year-old grandmother, Satyavathi Venna, on Oct 22 in a botched ransom plot.

Yandamuri remains held without bail at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility in Lower Providence. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Nov. 28. Yandamuri has reportedly been assigned as a "mitigation counsel," whose job it would be to defend him against the death penalty.

Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney Kevin Steele reportedly cited the death of a child under age 12 and a killing committed during the course of a felony as "aggravating circumstances" that would warrant the death penalty.

There were 200 people on the state's death row as of November 1. Only three people have been put to death in Pennsylvania since the state reinstituted the death penalty in 1978. The last was Gary Heidnik, who was executed in 1999 for the murders of two women he'd imprisioned in his home.


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