A bar in suburban Kansas became the scene of a horrific hate crime in February 2017, when Adam Purinton murdered Indian national Srinivas Kuchibhotla and two other men while yelling anti-immigrant slurs.
The 51-year-old Purinton was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on Tuesday after earlier pleading guilty in federal court to hate crime and firearm offenses, according to a Department of Justice press release.
“My husband was more than what you chose to address him as,” Kuchibhotla’s widow, Sunayana Dumala, wrote in a powerful victim-impact statement that was read aloud by a prosecutor. “Always kind, caring, and respectful to others. Srinu and I came to the United States of America full of dreams and aspirations.”
“Now, my American Dream—and that of Srinu’s—is broken,” she continued. “If you could have kept your anger inside and spoke to my husband softly, Srinu would have been more than happy to share his background and help you understand that not every brown skinned person is suspicious or evil, but kind, smart and contributing to America.”
“Instead, you chose to rage and bully in anger and when you were stopped, you decided to take their lives,” she added.
Purinton admitted at his guilty-plea hearing that he shot Kuchibhotla, Indian national Alok Madasani, and Kansas resident Ian Grillot. Both Madasani and Grillot were wounded in the shooting.
“Get out of my country,” Purinton allegedly told Kuchibhotla and Madasani that February night, according to at least one witness. At his plea hearing, Purinton even admitted he targeted the men because of their race, color, and national origin, the DOJ release said.
“No matter who you are, what you believe, or how you worship, you should be able to live without fear of becoming a victim of hate crimes,” U.S. attorney for the District of Kansas, Stephen McAllister, said Tuesday after the sentencing.
In her victim-impact statement, Kuchibhotla’s widow concluded by advising Purinton to “use the time that is being given to you to educate yourself.”