CHICAGO: A 46-year-old Indian-origin computer scientist has been sentenced to life for killing his wife and two young children by slashing their throats in a bid to escape an unhappy marriage in 2008. Lakshminivasa Nerusu, extradited from India to face trial in the US for the triple murder, was last month found guilty by a jury after less than two hours of deliberations.
"I think you're most wholly, completely and utterly selfish," Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Nanci Grant told Nerusu, as he stood shackled in jail garb, before she sentenced him to life in prison without parole yesterday. "That doesn't make you mentally ill, that makes you an evil human being," Grant was quoted as saying by the Detroit Free Press.
The judge sharply dismissed Nerusu's claim that he was mentally ill when he murdered his wife and two children. Grant, a judge for 18 years, told Nerusu that she has handled hundreds of murder cases. "None of them affected me like this one did," she said. "I've never had to stop and pause and gather myself until I saw the photos of your murdered children."
Nerusu quarrelled with his wife, Jayalakshmi, 37, the morning of October 13, 2008, then stabbed her 59 times with a kitchen knife, before slashing her throat. He waited for his daughter, Tejasvi, 14, to arrive home from school before ambushing her as she came through the door. Forty minutes later, he attacked his son, Siva Kumar, 12, as he too, arrived home.
He fled to Hyderabad the next day but was arrested in 2013 and extradited back to Michigan to face murder charges. Nerusu had admitted to the killings, and testified on his own behalf, but said he blacked out and could not recall the details. He had admitted he would sometimes slap his wife when they argued and worried that she would call the police.
Defense attorney Lawrence Kaluzny argued Nerusu was insane at the time, but jurors clearly disbelieved that. Nerusu showed no emotion as he was led away shackled at his waist and ankles.