A lawsuit has been filed against a man accused of killing a baby and her grandmother in a botched ransom kidnapping as well as the officials who run the apartment complex where the murders took place.
Raghunandan Yandamuri, 27, is charged with first-degree murder in the October 2012
killings of 10-month-old Saanvi Venna and 61-year-old Satyavathi Venna.
Prosecutors allege that Yandamuri kidnapped the girl from her family's King of Prussia apartment, killing her grandmother who tried to protect the child. The girl's body was found several days later.
Yandamuri hatched a plan to extort money from the Venna family by kidnapping their daughter and holding her for ransom to pay for his overwhelming gambling debt, according to police.
Defense attorney Stephen Heckman claimed however that his client was coerced into confessing to the murders.
Officials announced that Venkata Venna, the father of Saanvi and son of Satyavathi, filed a wrongful death suit not only against Yandamuri but also the owners, managers and security officials of the Marquis Apartment complex where the woman and baby were murdered.
The lawsuit claims that the "negligent, careless and reckless conduct" of the owners and managers of the complex played a role in the murders. The lawsuit also accuses the officials of failing to provide and maintain safe premises, failing to provide adequate surveillance and failing to protect tenants from danger.
The lawsuit also claims the complex's owners managers and security officials failed to repair "broken or inoperable security cameras designed to deter intruders," according to the Times Herald.
The lawsuit claims Yandamuri was able to enter an unlocked and open side fire door into one of the apartment buildings and then gained entry into Venna's apartment right before the killings took place.
Yandamuri is charged with first and second degree murder, kidnapping, abuse of corpse and other related offenses.