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Prosecutors Want Death Penalty in King of Prussia Kidnap-Murder Case

(Raghunandan Yandamuri.  Photo from Upper Merion PD)

(Raghunandan Yandamuri. Photo from Upper Merion PD)

Brad Segall Brad Segall
Brad Segall is the award-winning Suburban Bureau chief at KYW...
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By Brad Segall

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. (CBS) — Montgomery County prosecutors say they will pursue the death penalty for the King of Prussia man accused of murdering a ten-month-old and her grandmother during what prosecutors say was a botched kidnapping in Upper Merion last October (see related story).

Raghu Yandamuri, 26, is still awaiting formal arraignment in the case, but prosecutors have filed the necessary paperwork to seek the death penalty against him.

Montgomery County prosecutor Kevin Steele says there are a number of aggravating factors that make it a capital punishment case:

“They involve a killing in the course of a felony, they involve the killing in the course of a kidnapping,” he tells KYW Newsradio.  “There’s also aggravating factors involving taking of a hostage.”

Another aggravating factor, he says, is the murder of a child under the age of 12.

Steele says the DA’s office filed two notices of the death penalty: one for the grandmother and one for the child, Sannvi Venna.

Authorities say Yandamuri stabbed the woman when she tried to prevent him from taking the child from their apartment.  He suffocated the child and left her in the basement of a building (see related story).

Defense attorney Steve Heckman says he’s not shocked that prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for his client and he’s in the process of reviewing the court filing.

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