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News Nearby: Accused Venna Killer Lost $15K Gambling

Losses preceded alleged ransom scheme

The man accused of killing a 10-month-old girl and her grandmother in an Upper Merion apartment tower in October had reportedly lost $15,000 gambling at casinos in the week before the crime.

The Associated Press reports that 26-year-old Raghunandan Yandamuri told authorities about his gambling losses in a videotaped statement he made following his arrest. The statement was played at his preliminary hearing on Wednesday morning.

Authorities have said the killings of Saanvi Venna and her 61-year-old grandmother, Satyavathi Venna, were part of a botched ransom scheme in which Yandamuri planned to demand $50,000 from Saanvi's parents for her safe return. Several copies of a ransom note were found at the murder scene.

The Montgomery County District Attorney's office is reportedly considering seeking the death penalty for Yandamuri.

Anonymous November 30, 2012 at 12:35 PM
The note is sickening. How dumb does a person have to be to think that he could get away with getting money in this way? Of course this is someone whoalso thought they could "win it big" with gambling. The love of money is certainly the root of all evil. I am sickened that we have a casino in Bethlehem. There is really no good that can come of it. It of course is not the reason this sicko did what he did, but certainly it aided to his financial ruin, which led to his thinking he could get $ easy from the parents. "Easy" $ = ruin. Hard work is the only way that we can feel good about ourselves. I am still praying for this family. It is devestating and I cannot imagine their pain.
Nazaretti November 30, 2012 at 05:20 PM
So the DA may seek the death penalty? Sounds about right.

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