WASHINGTON: A US Navy veteran charged with killing an Indian techie and injuring two others in a racially motivated hate crime at a bar in Kansas City early this year has pleaded not guilty.
Adam Purinton, 52, was charged with first-degree murder in the February shooting in Olathe that killed 32-year-old Srinivas Kuchibhotla. He also faces two counts of attempted first-degree murder for wounding two other men.
During a preliminary hearing yesterday, Purinton pleaded “not guilty”. He waived his preliminary hearing and the not guilty plea was entered on his behalf.
The next hearing is scheduled for May 8. He faces a maximum penalty of death or life in prison.
Federal prosecutors allege that Purinton targeted Kuchibhotla and another Indian man, Alok Madasani, because of their race or ethnicity. The third man was shot when tried to help the two victims.
Witnesses said Purinton yelled at the two Indian men to “get out of my country” before pulling the trigger.
After the shooting, Purinton drove 70 miles east to an Applebee’s restaurant in Clinton, Missouri, where he told a bartender what he’d done.
Srinivas Kuchibhotla was working at Garmin International.
Federal prosecutors alleged that Purinton committed the offences after substantial planning and premeditation, attempted to kill more than one person in a single criminal episode, and knowingly created a grave risk of death to others on the scene.