Saanvi Venna Murder: Killer Raghunandan Yandamuri Found Guilty Of First Degree Murder

The family members of Satyavathi Venna and Saanvi Venna, the two victims of the gruesome 2012 murders in Upper Merion, found some sense of closure after the murderer, 28-year-old Raghunandan Yandamuri, was convicted of two counts of first degree murder by a jury of seven men and five women. Yandamuri’s gruesome crime dates back to October 2012 when he killed 61-year-old Satyavathi Venna and kidnapped her 10-month-old granddaughter, Saanvi Venna. Following his arrest, he confessed that he killed little Saanvi shortly after she was kidnapped. Raghunandan Yandamuri, who was age 26 at the time of the crime, has also been found guilty of kidnapping, burglary, robbery and abuse of a corpse, according to The Times Herald.

The report adds that the jury began deliberating the case at around 11 a.m. and announced the verdict shortly after 5 p.m. Raghunandan Yandamuri showed a calm and compsed demeanor at the time.

Following the verdict, First Assistant District Attorney Kevin Steele said;

“We’ve gotten one step closer in the closure of this for the Venna family. It’s been a long struggle for them. They’ve had a difficult go of this and at this point we’ve given them a little bit of closure with the verdicts of first-degree murder on the mother and the 10-month-old child.”

Kevin Steele added that the Venna family as well as the district attorney’s office is seeking the death penalty against Raghunandan Yandamuri. With Yandamuri convicted of two counts of first degree murder, the next step would be what is known as a penalty phase where the same jury would deliberate on whether Raghunandan Yandamuri should get the death penalty. In any case, it is likely that he would be sentenced to life should he not receive the death penalty. Yandamuri’s defense attorney Henry Hilles, who will represent Raghunandan in the penalty phase, is hopeful of convincing the jury that he be given the life sentence and not the death penalty.

Raghunandan Yandamuri

“We’re hopeful we can convince the jury that the death penalty is not the right verdict,” he said.

Also present in the courtroom was the mother of Raghunandan Yandamuri, Padmavathi who is expected to travel to India tomorrow. Speaking through an interpreter she pleaded the jury to spare the life of her son.

“Please, save my son somehow,” she said, crying.

Padmavathi Yandamuri also revealed that her son had a suicidal past and that at the age of 11, Raghunandan had tried killing himself. Her husband, a police officer in India was killed in 1997 during a terrorist attack, she added. Defense attorney Henry Hilles says;

“I do think there were incidents in his life that had a serious impact on him. He went through a lot and our position is, given everything he’s been through, he is not an evil person and is not the worst of the worst and accordingly should not be put to death.”

Do you think Raghunandan Yandamuri deserves the death penalty for doing what he did to the aged lady and to little Saanvi Venna?

[Images Via IndiaWest/WFMZ]

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