South Carolina Man and Woman Plead Guilty to Hate Crime and Conspiracy for Bias-Motivated Armed Robberies Targeting Hispanic Victims
The Justice Department today announced the indictment of Adam W. Purinton, 52, of Olathe, Kansas. Purinton was indicted by a federal grand jury on hate crime and firearm charges for shooting three men—including two Indian nationals—at an Olathe bar on Feb. 22, 2017.
The announcement was made by Acting Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Wheeler, II, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, and United States Attorney Thomas E. Beall of the District of Kansas.
Today’s indictment accuses Purinton of shooting and killing Srinivas Kuchibhotla because of Kuchibhotla’s actual and perceived race, color, religion and national origin. The indictment also accuses Purinton of attempting to kill Alok Madasani because of his actual and perceived race, color, religion and national origin.
A third count in the indictment charges Purinton with violating a federal firearms statute by discharging a firearm at Kuchibhotla, Madasani, and the third man, Ian Grillot, during those crimes of violence.
The indictment alleges that Purinton committed the offenses after substantial planning and premeditation, attempted to kill more than one person in a single criminal episode, and knowingly created a grave risk of death to others on the scene.
The statute authorizes a maximum penalty of death or life in prison; the Justice Department will determine at a later date whether, in this particular case, it will seek the death penalty.
An indictment is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
Investigating agencies include the FBI and the Olathe Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Tris Hunt and David Zabel of the District of Kansas and Trial Attorney Christopher J. Perras of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.