NBC10.com - Deanna Durante
Raghunandan Yandamuri, 26, plead not guilty in court Monday to charges that he killed 10-month-old Saanvi Venna and her grandmother in October. According to police, the 26-year-old intended to kidnap and hold the child for ransom in order to extort money from the Venna family. NBC10's Deanna Durante reports.
The man accused of murdering a baby and her grandmother in Montgomery County last October pleaded not guilty in court this morning.
NBC10's Deanna Durante was at the Montgomery County Courthouse this morning when Raghunandan Yandamuri pleaded not guilty to the murder of 10-month-old Saanvi Venni and her 61-year-old grandmother Satyavathi Venna.
Police say Yandamuri hatched a plan to extort money from the Venna family to eliminate overwhelming gambling debt by holding their daughter Saanvi for ransom. The plan, they say, went horribly wrong when on the morning of October 22, Yandamuri found Satyavathi in the family's apartment in the Marquis complex. She was visiting from India.
The elder Venna was babysitting her granddaughter and fought hard to protect the child, police say.
Yandamuri then stabbed the grandmother and kidnapped the baby, according to investigators.
Four days later, baby Venna's body was found in the basement of the apartment complex with a ransom note from the suspect demanding $50,000.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Yandamuri.