Suspect in baby, grandma deaths had casino losses

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Associated Press

Posted on November 28, 2012 at 10:03 AM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 28 at 10:33 AM

BRIDGEPORT, Pa. (AP) — A neighbor charged with killing a 10-month-old girl and her grandmother during a botched kidnapping told police he had lost $15,000 gambling at casinos the week before.

After seeing a videotaped police statement given by 26-year-old Raghunandan Yandamuri (rag-oo-NAHN'-dahn yahn-duh-MOHR'-ee) last month, a suburban Philadelphia judge has ordered him to stand trial on first-degree murder, kidnapping and other charges.

In the video, Yandamuri tells police he had a good job but planned the kidnapping to get money from the baby's parents, both software engineers.

Yandamuri says he panicked after the grandmother was killed as they struggled over a knife. He says he accidentally dropped the baby, then smothered her.

Defense lawyer Stephen Heckman unsuccessfully argued that his client lacked the intent to kill, a requirement for a first-degree murder conviction.

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