NRI convicted of killing estranged wife in US

Last Updated: Thursday, April 7, 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 7, 2011 - 14:05

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