By Jim Melwert
NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — The man who was sentenced to death last year for killing a ten-month-old girl and her grandmother in King of Prussia was back in Montgomery County Court today, arguing for a new trial or to get his death sentence overturned.
Rhagu Yandamuri tried to explain to Montgomery County judge Steven O’Neill that he felt his lawyers, Henry Hilles and Stephen Heckman, had stopped answering his calls or his letters.
To which attorney Henry Hilles replied, they have probably set a record for the most consultations with an incarcerated client in Montgomery County history.
“The reality is, both Mr. Heckman and I agree with many of the conceptual issues that (Yandamuri) wishes to raise on appeal. It’s just that he wants things worded his way, and it doesn’t work that way,” Hilles told reporters after today’s court proceeding.
Among the issues that Yandamuri raised were the testimony by the detective regarding his confession, photos shown to the jury, and discussion of Yandamuri’s gambling habits and debts.
Assistant district attorney Samantha Cauffman disputes the defense claims, saying Yandamuri got a fair trial.
Judge O’Neill is taking the arguments under advisement.
Yandamuri was convicted and sentenced to death last October for the 2012 killing of Saanvi Venna and her 61-year-old grandmother in their King of Prussia apartment during what prosecutors say was a botched kidnapping. Yandamuri had insisted upon acting as his own attorney during his trial.