NRI convicted of killing estranged wife in US
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Last Updated: Thursday, April 07, 2011, 14:05
  
Boston: A 29 year-old Indian man has been convicted of killing his estranged wife and another man in a New Jersey church in 2008 and now faces life in prison.

Joseph Pallipurath of Sacramento, California, was found guilty of murdering his 24-year-old estranged wife Reshma James and 25-year-old Dennis John Mallooseril, a bystander in the church and had tried to help James.

Pallipurath was also found guilty of the attempted murder of SilvyCQ Perincheril, who was seriously wounded in the attack and is now confined to a wheelchair.

He had shot all three at close range in the head in November 2008.

The trial began on March 17 and Pallipurath is scheduled to be sentenced on May 27.

He was also convicted on charges of unlawful possession of a weapon, and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.

He faces at least one mandatory life prison sentence without parole and the possibility of three mandatory life sentences without parole, depending on whether the judge decides to run the terms consecutively or concurrently.

Pallipurath and James had an arranged marriage in India that turned sour when the couple came to the US.

Prosecutors said Pallipurath was desperate to reconcile with his wife and drove cross-country from his home in Sacramento to New Jersey.

According to his own testimony, Pallipurath had spied on James and had gone to the New Jersey church at least one Sunday prior to the shootings.

He opened fire when James resisted his attempts to lead her out of the church. Malloosseril had intervened when he saw Pallipurath confronting James and was shot in the head.

Pallipurath was armed with more than 100 rounds of ammunition and two handguns.

He had testified that he fired the first shot accidentally after Malloosseril intervened in the tussle.

He later started firing randomly in the heat of passion.

Prosecutors argued that Pallipurath's actions were purposeful and knowing, while defence attorney Harley Breite said Pallipurath acted in the heat of passion and not deliberately.

PTI


First Published: Thursday, April 07, 2011, 14:05


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