Convict: Execution Is Better Than My Lawyers

Raghunandan Yandamuri killed baby, grandmother in botched kidnapping
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 13, 2015 11:09 PM CDT
Convict: Execution Is Better Than My Lawyers
In this Nov. 28, 2012, photo, Raghunandan Yandamuri is escorted from a Montgomery County district court after a preliminary hearing in Bridgeport, Pa.   (Matt Rourke)

A Pennsylvania man sentenced to death in the killings of a baby girl and her grandmother in what prosecutors called a botched kidnapping plot says he is so dissatisfied with his attorneys he'd rather be executed now than continue seeking a new trial with them. Raghunandan Yandamuri, who had served as his own lawyer before being convicted of murder, accuses the attorneys of not responding to his calls or letters. He said yesterday in Montgomery County Court if his appeal keeps going the same way he would rather be executed immediately. The judge called that "a little dramatic," and his attorney said he and a colleague have spent more time with their client "than has ever occurred in Montgomery County history."

Yandamuri was convicted of murder in the 2012 slayings of 10-month-old Saanvi Venna and 61-year-old Satyavathi Venna. Prosecutors said he hatched the kidnapping plot to pay for a gambling habit. Yandamuri, who knew the baby's parents, told investigators he panicked after the grandmother was killed in a struggle over a kitchen knife. He told police he accidentally dropped the baby and put a handkerchief over her mouth to quiet her. He said he then left the baby in a disused basement sauna and when he returned hours later with milk for her, she was unconscious. "My intention was not to kill anyone or not to harm anyone," he told police in a videotaped statement. "I only tried to kidnap the baby." (Read more kidnapping stories.)

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