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Kansas man pleads guilty to killing one, injuring two in alleged hate crime

Adam Purinton, who was charged with one count of premeditated murder among other charges in a Kansas bar shooting, changed his plea to guilty Tuesday.

by Chris Fuchs /  / Updated 

A 52-year-old man pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges of fatally shooting an engineer from India at a Kansas bar and wounding two others, according to the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office. He had pleaded not guilty in November, according to The Associated Press.

Adam Purinton entered his guilty plea in Johnson County District Court to premeditated first-degree murder in the death of 32-year-old Srinivas Kuchibhotla, an aviation systems engineer and programs manager at GPS maker Garmin.

Purinton also pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted premeditated first-degree murder for injuring Kuchibhotla’s friend Alok Madasani, also from India, and Ian Grillot, who tried to intervene during the shooting at Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe, Kansas, last February, the district attorney said.

“Today’s guilty verdict in the murder of my husband will not bring back my Srinu, but it will send a strong message that hate is never acceptable,” Sunayana Dumala, Kuchibhotla’s wife, said in a statement. “We must understand and love one another.”

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Purinton — who still faces federal hate crime charges and possibly the death penalty — is accused of opening fire after using “racial slurs” and yelling “get out of my country,” The AP and Kansas City Star have reported.

It wasn’t immediately clear how or if his plea will affect charges being brought by the federal government.

Purinton’s attorney did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

The district attorney’s office said in a statement that the parties agreed to a maximum sentence on each count to run consecutive to one another and to any sentence imposed in the federal case. Purinton would have to serve 50 years before being eligible for parole, according to the district attorney's office.

Purinton’s sentencing is scheduled for May 4.

A peace walk is planned to honor Kuchibhotla on Friday, which would’ve been his birthday, Dumala said.

“Let us continue to work for peace, understanding and love — the things Srinu stood for and will be his legacy,” she said.

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