The suspect accused of shooting and killing a man in an Olathe, Kansas, bar last week and wounding two others made his initial appearance in Johnson County District Court Monday via closed circuit television.
Judge Timothy McCarthy appointed a public defender to represent Adam Purinton, 51, of Olathe, who is charged with one count of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder.
During his brief appearance, Purinton stared straight ahead as McCarthy asked him his name, whether he had a copy of the criminal complaint and whether he had counsel.
“Yes, sir,” Purinton responded to the first two questions. “I’m asking the court to appoint counsel for me,” he responded to the third.
Purinton is being held in the Johnson County Jail in New Century. He was wearing a green safety smock – a collarless suit used to prevent detainees from forming a noose to commit suicide.
Through his appointed counsel, Purinton waived the reading of the complaint. He did not enter a plea.
McCarthy set March 9 for Purinton’s next appearance when future hearing dates and a preliminary hearing will be scheduled. At the preliminary hearing, the judge will determine whether there’s probable cause for the case to go to trial.
Purinton is charged in the shootings of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32; Alok Madasani, 32; and Ian Grillot, 24, at Austins Bar & Grill near 151st Street and Mur-Len Road in Olathe, on Wednesday night. Kuchibhotla died of his injuries at a hospital. Madasani was released from the hospital on Thursday and Grillot remains hospitalized in stable condition after being shot in the hand and chest.
Kuchibhotla and Madasani, both from India, worked as engineers at Garmin Ltd., the Olathe-based technology company. The two friends were having drinks at the bar when Purinton allegedly began uttering racial slurs. The Kansas City Star reported that at least one witness reportedly heard him yell “get out of my country” shortly before shooting Kuchibhotla and Madasani. Grillot was shot when he sought to intervene.
Purinton was arrested hours later at an Applebee’s in Clinton, Missouri, where he allegedly told a bartender that he had just killed two Middle Eastern men and needed a place to hide, according to The Star.
The FBI is investigating the shooting as a possible hate crime. News of the shooting has received widespread attention in India, and a vigil Sunday near Austins drew hundreds of people.
Dan Margolies is KCUR’s health editor. You can reach him on Twitter @DanMargolies.