A man charged with killing a 10-month-old child and the girl’s
grandmother has been named as a defendant in a wrongful death suit as the criminal case against the accused murderer makes its way through the courts.
Raghunandan Yandamuri, of Eagleville, Montgomery County, is being sued by North Wales, Pa. resident Venkata Venna, the administrator of the estate of his late daughter, Saanvi Venna, and his late mother, Satyavathi Venna, 61, who were slain in October 2012 at the Marquis Apartments, allegedly at the hands of Yandamuri in what authorities have called a kidnapping-for-ransom scheme gone wrong.
The lawsuit, which was filed in early November at Philadelphia’s Common Pleas Court by Venkata Venna’s attorney, John I. McMahon, Jr., also names as defendants Metropolitan Properties of America, Inc., JEG Associates Limited Partnership, Marquis Associates Limited Partnership, and U.S. Security Associates Inc.
According to the complaint, Yandamuri, a resident of the Marquis Apartments, gained entry into the apartment occupied by the grandmother and the young girl, where he “violently” stabbed Satyavathi Venna to death.
The woman was attempting to protect the young baby at the time from being kidnapped for ransom by Yandamuri, the lawsuit states.
The child ultimately died from asphyxiation; Yandamuri allegedly stuffed a handkerchief in the girl’s mouth and wrapped a towel around her head to keep her quiet so he would move about undetected in the apartment building.
The lawsuit accuses the defendants of negligence for failing to provide and maintain a safe and secure premises, failing to provide proper safeguards to prevent criminal acts or actors within and about the premises, and failing to warn of the foreseeable and unreasonable risk of harm created by the unsafe conditions.
The defendants are also accused of failing to provide regular safety and security inspections at the complex, its fire doors and the surrounding area, and failing to provide and maintain sufficient and properly trained and competent security personnel to deter and prevent criminal acts from taking place on the premises.
In addition to the negligence counts, the lawsuit contains a count of wrongful death in which the plaintiff seeks to be reimbursed for funeral and burial expenses, lost earnings and earning capacity on behalf of Saanvi Venna, and costs for the administration of Satyavathi Venna and Saanvi Venna.
The plaintiff seeks more than $50,000 in compensatory and punitive damages.
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff’s mother died from multiple stab wounds to the neck and upper chest.
The plaintiff asserts that the Yangamuri’s “assaultive, criminal conduct” was “reckless and outrageous and warrants an award of punitive damages.”
The killings of the young girl and her grandmother sent shockwaves around the Montgomery County region.
It also apparently resonated with those of Indian descent, which is the accused killer’s nationality.
In early September, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Yandamuri gave a jailhouse interview to an Indian television station in which he slammed his criminal defense attorney as being “pessimistic,” and focused on saving the man from the death penalty rather than pursuing tips that accomplices were involved in the kidnap-for-ransom scheme that ended with the killings.
Authorities, the Inquirer reported, say that Yandamuri plotted to kidnap the 10-month-old Saanvi in exchange for $50,000, which he allegedly needed to pay off gambling debts.
The defendant apparently knew the child’s family, and believed they had the money to pay up because of their well-paying jobs.
Police say the grandmother was in from India at the time babysitting the child at the time the crimes unfolded.
The state case ID number is 131100610.