Philadelphia Criminal Law News

Saanvi Venna Laid to Rest, Family Friend Charged With Murder

An East Norriton family faced their grief head-on over the weekend, as they laid their ten-month- old daughter to rest.

Baby Saanvi Venna's murder made national headlines, when her grandmother was found dead in the family's King of Prussia apartment last week.

Saanvi's grandmother, Satayrathi Venna, 61, who apparently died protecting her granddaughter, was babysitting the child at the time, The Philadelphia Inquirer writes. The baby was abducted from her grandmother's care. The grandmother was found with her throat slashed, the baby missing, when parents Venkata Konda Venna and Chenchu Punuru came home to their apartment last week.

The baby was found in the basement of the apartment complex where the family lived.

A family friend and neighbor, Raghunandan Yandamuri, 26, was charged with the double murders. Yandamuri allegedly killed the grandmother and kidnapped the baby, in the hopes of claiming ransom from the parents.

Unfortunately for all, the kidnapping culminated in the death of the child, as Yandamuri stuffed a cloth in the child's mouth to keep her quiet and placed her in a zipped bag.

According to the New York Daily News, Yandamuri thought he could extort $50,000 from the parents, because they had "good jobs" as engineers.

He left a ransom note, asking for the money, at a local Baja Fresh.

While it didn't appear that Yandamuri had planned to kill the child, the fact is that the child died in the commission of a serious crime. This makes him potentially liable for second degree murder in Pennsylvania, under the felony murder theory. Essentially, when a death occurs in the commission of a felony, the death is a felony murder.

And this is a case of "choose your felony." He allegedly broke into an apartment with the intention to kidnap. That's burglary, a felony. He then killed a woman. Then, kidnapped a child. That's two more in.

No word yet on whether Yandamuri has retained a criminal lawyer. He'll need a good one.

Related Resources: