Prosecutors in Montgomery County are seeking the death penalty against a man accused of killing a baby and her grandmother during a botched kidnapping last year.
NBC10 confirmed an earlier report by the Philadelphia Inquirer that Montgomery County prosecutors filed notice Tuesday of intent to seek capital punishment if jurors convict 26-year-old Raghunandan Yandamuri of first-degree murder in the October deaths.
Prosecutors said he kidnapped 10-month-old Saanvi Venna from the family's King of Prussia apartment complex, killing 61-year-old Satayrathi Venna during the incident. The child's body was found a few days later in another part of the complex.
Police said that they believe Yandamuri went to the apartment with the intention of kidnapping Saanvi and holding her for ransom. But police say Satyavathi, who was babysitting the child, fought for her granddaughter and was fatally stabbed by Yandamuri.
Authorities allege that he confessed to Upper Merion Township Police but said the deaths were accidental. Video of his alleged confession was released in November.
Defense attorney Stephen Heckman said the decision to pursue the death penalty came as no surprise and “we'll take it from there.”