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Adam Purinton Gets Life Sentence, Still Faces Possible Death Penalty For Hate Crime

Andrea Tudhope
KCUR 89.3

As Johnson County District Court Judge Charles Droege told 52-year-old Adam Purinton on Friday that he likely "won't leave prison alive," the convicted murderer briefly lowered his head.

Purinton was sentenced to life in prison for the February 2017 murder of Srinivas Kuchibhotla at an Olathe, Kansas, bar. He received an additional 28-year sentence for the attempted murders of Alok Madasani and Ian Grillot.

He still faces federal hate crime charges that could mean the death penalty. A hearing in that case is set for later this month.

In court Friday, Purinton's lawyer, Michael McCulloch, said his client had shown from the beginning that he is "remorseful and sorry for the actions he took."

Purinton has 14 days to appeal the sentencing. 

In March, Purinton, 52, pleaded guilty, agreeing to maximum sentencing on all counts.

The murder of Kuchibhotla, and attempted murder of Madasani — two Indian immigrants in the United States on work visas — earned Purinton federal hate crime charges. Before the shooting, Purinton approached the men on the patio of Austin's Barn and Grill and asked, "Where are you from? How did you get into this country?"

Before Friday's sentencing, Assistant District Attorney Aubrey Sample read a written statement addressed to Purinton, from Sunayana Dumala, Kuchibhotla's wife. Dumala said she hoped Purinton would one day realize the "magnitude of your mistake." 

"I learned from the cops that the murder of of my husband was premeditative and racially motivated," she wrote. "In the few minutes that you have seen Srinu you built so much hatred for him that you decided he did not deserve to live . . . I wish you had the ability to see beyond my husband's skin color and the beautiful and kind-hearted person underneath it."

Federal authorities allege that Purinton targeted the two men because of their race, ethnicity or national origin. The U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kansas, will take up the case in a hearing on May 21.

With no possibility of parole for 50 years in the life sentence, Purinton will spend the rest of his life behind bars, unless the U.S. Attorney's office decides to seek the death penalty against him. 

Andrea Tudhope is a reporter for KCUR 89.3. Email her at andreat@kcur.org, and follow her on Twitter @_tudhope.

Andrea Tudhope is an award-winning multimedia journalist based in Kansas City, Missouri. She is currently coordinating producer for America Amplified, a national public media community engagement initiative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. 
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