An Indian-origin man was charged with four counts of murder on Wednesday, two days after he confessed to killing four of his family members in Roseville, United States, reported The Sacramento Bee. Shankar Nagappa Hangud had on October 14 brought one of the bodies when he surrendered before the Mount Shasta police in North California, about 350 km from Roseville.
In the court of Placer Superior Court Judge Jeffrey S Penney on Wednesday, Hangud wanted to represent himself and initially refused to get an attorney. However, he agreed after Martin Jones, an attorney with the Placer County Public Defender’s Office, stepped in. Jones said the charges constitute a capital case, meaning that Hangud could face the death penalty if convicted.
While three of the murders took place at Hangud’s Roseville apartment, the fourth one happened in Siskiyou County. The first two killings took place on October 7, prosecutors allege in their complaint. Another family member was murdered the next day. The last of the four killings happened on October 13.
Roseville Police on Tuesday said they found the bodies of an adult and two children at Hangud’s apartment. However, Roseville Police Department Captain Joshua Simon refused to name the four victims.
Hangud’s motive is still unclear.
The 53-year-old data specialist had worked for several companies in the Sacramento area, according to his LinkedIn profile. The last firm he worked with is called Social Interest Solutions, which provides IT services for state public assistance programmes. Public records showed his employment ended in 2018, reported PTI.
The crimes have stunned Roseville. “This incident has touched the lives of many in the area,” Simon told reporters at a news conference on Tuesday. “It’s a very sad, sad situation.” The last time such a massacre took place was in 1998 when one Arturo Juarez Suarez raped a woman and killed her two children, her husband and her brother-in-law. Suarez was sentenced to death in 2001.