Closing arguments begin in double murder trial

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Authorities say the murders are the result of a botched kidnapping plot.

Closing arguments began Wednesday in the trial of a man charged in the slayings of a baby and her grandmother killed in what authorities have called a botched kidnapping plot.

Prosecutors in Montgomery County allege that 27-year-old Raghunandan Yandamuri kidnapped 10-month-old Saanvi Venna from her family's King of Prussia apartment in October 2012 and killed the baby's grandmother. The girl was later found dead. Yandamuri could face the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder.

Yandamuri testified the two men forced him to lead them to the apartment and committed the murders. He acknowledged that he took gold bracelets off the dead woman's body but said he was also forced to do that. He accused police of lying to him and coercing him to confess.

Police found ransom notes at the crime scene demanding $50,000 for the baby's safe return. Those notes were later traced to a printer at Yandamuri's office. Under cross examination Tuesday, he claimed he was forced to write the ransom note by hand and it was later typed and printed by the two men behind the scheme.

Yandamuri has also given two conflicting accounts of where and how he was approached by the strangers named Josh and Matt.

Investigators say it was Yandamuri alone who committed the murders because he was buried under a mountain of gambling debts.

The jurors, at times, had been moved to tears while viewing the crime scene photos.

If the jury decides Yandamuri is guilty, they will return to court for a penalty phase. They will then decide if Yandamuri should get the death penalty or life in prison.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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