1. Home
  2. India
  3. Indian In US Gets 25 Years

Indian In US Gets 25 Years Jail For Killing Cousin, Had Fled To India

PTI 12 Dec 2010, 9:56:36 IST
Orlando, Dec 12: The past finally caught up with Kamlesh Agrawal, a student of University of  Central Florida, who confessed to having killed his cousin in a fit of rage and then fled to India.

The 25 year jail sentence was given in an Orlando County courtroom, but Kamlesh may have to serve 17 years.

Kamlesh  explained what drove him to kill his cousin. "I never intended for this to happen,” he  said. “I don't know what to do."

Agarwal wept openly as he discussed for the first time what happened the night his cousin Deepa Agarwal was killed. Her body was found stuffed in a box in her closet eight days after her death.

It was an unfitting end for the 20-year-old UCF student already working on her Ph.D. who dreamed of opening hospitals.

Agarwal, her roommate, had sold his car and flown to India, where attorneys said his family helped him hide, living in a luxury hotel. Agarwal eventually turned himself in, but fought extradition for more than eight years.

Back in Orange County, only Friday did he explain what happen in a statement read by his attorney. Agarwal said he was jealous one night Deepa returned home late after being with another man.

"I then started shaking her hard, brought her down to the bed violently,” defense attorney Bill Sheaffer read. “She hit the headboard and after that she did not move."

The death pitted the family against each other. Agarwal's sister supported him, while Sheela Agarwal, Deepa's sister, protested in front of the White House to bring him back to America for justice.

"Whenever I close my eyes and think of Deepa, I think of him smashing my sister against the wall over and over again," Sheela Agarwal said.

Both sides agreed on a guilty plea to second-degree murder, but it was up to Judge John Adams to determine the sentence. He said Agarwal's actions after her death led him to impose the maximum of 25 years.

His immediate family was silent as they exited the courthouse, while Deepa's was at least happy for closure. “Would I like to see him in jail for a much, much longer time? Of course. But it's a relief to hear him at least have to admit that he killed her,” Sheela Agarwal said.

Agarwal will get credit for the time he served in India fighting extradition, so he won't be in a U.S. jail anymore than 17 years.