Accused Venna Killer Lost $15K Gambling

Losses preceded alleged ransom scheme.

The man accused of killing a 10-month-old girl and her grandmother in an Upper Merion apartment tower in October had reportedly lost $15,000 gambling at casinos in the week before the crime.

The Associated Press reports that 26-year-old Raghunandan Yandamuri told authorities about his gambling losses in a videotaped statement he made following his arrest. The statement was played at his preliminary hearing on Wednesday morning.

Authorities have said the murders of Saanvi Venna and her 61-year-old grandmother, Satyavathi Venna, were part of a botched ransom scheme in which Yandamuri planned to demand $50,000 from Saanvi's parents for her safe return. Several copies of a ransom note were found at the murder scene.

The Montgomery County District Attorney's office is reportedly considering seeking the death penalty for Yandamuri.


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