Houston: Adam Purinton, the 51-year-old US navy veteran charged with killing Indian techie Srinivas Kuchibhotla and injuring two others in an apparent hate crime at a pub in Kansas, has made his first court appearance. The veteran appeared before a court in Houston yesterday. The FBI is also helping gather evidence in the shooting because Kansas does not have a hate crime statute. If their agents can prove that Purinton's alleged actions constitute a hate crime, he could face federal charges that could potentially carry the death penalty.
Michelle Durrett from the Johnson County Public Defenders Office will serve as Purinton's attorney. According to Steve Howe, Johnson County District Attorney, Purinton faces hard 50 on state charges.
Purinton is currently being held in the Johnson County jail on a $2 million cash bond. Prosecutors claim Purinton opened fire inside Austin's restaurant in Olathe on last Wednesday night, killing Srinivas Kuchibhotla and wounding his Indian colleague Alok Madasani.
Ian Grillot, a 24-year-old American man was also injured while intervening in the shooting. Police arrested Purinton in Henry County, west central Missouri, after he reportedly walked into an Applebee's restaurant there and confided to the bartender that he had been involved in a shooting.
The shooter was charged on Thursday with first- degree murder. He was also charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder in the shootings of Alok Madasani and Ian Grillot, a 24-year-old US citizen who tried to intervene and received injuries trying to stop the US navy veteran. He was extradited back to Kansas on Friday.