Extradited Indian convicted in US murder trial
Chicago: An Indian-origin computer scientist, extradited from India to face trial in the US for a 2008 triple murder, was today found guilty of killing his wife and two children by slashing their throats.
After deliberating less than two hours, a stone-faced jury convicted Lakshminivasa Nerusu of three counts of first-degree premeditated murder in the slashing deaths of his wife and two children five years ago.
Nerusu, 46, who did not deny killing his family, showed no emotion as the five men and seven women on the jury were polled by Oakland County Circuit Judge Nanci Grant, The Detroit Free Press reported.
Some jurors were emphatic in their reiteration of Nerusu`s guilt. He will be sentenced to life in prison without parole on July 3 by the court in Michigan.
The verdict came after a week-long trial that included horrific pictures of Nerusu`s family members dead on the floor of their Michigan house, their throats slit.
Assistant Prosecutor Tricia Dare contended Nerusu killed his family to escape an unhappy marriage.
Nerusu quarrelled with his wife, Jayalakshmi, 37, the morning of October 13, 2008, then stabbed her dozens of times with a kitchen knife, before slashing her throat.
He waited for his daughter, Tejasvi, 14, to arrive home from school before ambushing her as she came through the door. Forty minutes later, he attacked his son, Siva Kumar, 12, as he, too, arrived home.
Nerusu, a computer scientist with a master`s degree in mathematics, fled to Hyderabad the next day but was arrested in 2013 and extradited back to Michigan to face murder charges.
Nerusu, 46, admitted to the killings, and testified on his own behalf, but said he blacked out and could not recall the details. He admitted he would sometimes slap his wife when they argued and worried that she would call the police.
Defense attorney Lawrence Kaluzny argued Nerusu was insane at the time, but jurors clearly disbelieved that.
The jury deliberated a little more than an hour yesterday after hearing closing arguments, then came back today when they delivered the guilty verdicts after about 15 more minutes of deliberation.
Nerusu had no supporters in the courtroom as he was led away, shackled and surrounded by six Oakland County Deputies.
Kaluzny said the verdict came as no surprise to him or his client.
"I talked with him before and told him what to expect," Kaluzny was quoted as saying. "I did what I could for him."
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